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The Improvement Era, 
December 1966 



:4 



Is This a Portrait of 
the Prophet Joseph Smith? 




See page 1074 




BYU is special-- Be sure you are ready 



Yes, going to BYU is something special. High academic standards combined 
with physical and spiritual training in an ideal social climate add up to a 
superior education. Students planning to attend BYU should be prepared. 
They should try to earn good grades in high school. And remember, new 
applications for admission for autumn semester 1967 are due before April 30. 
This is a new and earlier deadline, which is very important to keep in mind. 
Students transferring from other colleges have until July 31. Also, all new 
students must take the American College Test, which is given in every state. 
Check with your local high school principal or college for materials. Only 
one more test remains before the deadline; it will be given Feb. 18, and you 
must apply in advance. The results of that test with your application and 
two transcripts of credits must be sent to BYU before April 30. Demand is 
great, but there is always room for the good scholar. 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 

PROVO - UTAH 




Exploring 

the 

Universe 

By Dr. Franklin S. Harris Jr. 
STRETCH OF HUMAN SKIN 

Studies of the mechanical prop- 
erties of human skin at Strathclyde 
University, Scotland, have shown 
that the skin of a male age 43 
years stretched twice as much with 
the same stress as the skin from a 
male 74 years old. An 18-day-old 
female's skin extended as much 
more than that of the 43-year-old 
woman's as the 43-year-old's did 
compared to a 74-year-old woman. 

ANIMALS NEED AFFECTION 

Is affection important in an ani- 
mal's development? Two groups 
of tame rats were given the same 
conditions, except that one group 
of rats was never handled and the 
other group was handled daily 
with stroking and petting. Tests 
were given to the two groups after 
a time. It was found that the rats 
that were petted learned more 
quickly and could also endure 
starvation and cold conditions bet- 
ter. They seemed to be better in 
body and mind than the unpetted 
rats. 




LEARNING BY WORMS 

Research at the University of 
Michigan has found that the process 
of learning produces chemical 
changes. When worms that have 
learned to respond to a light stimu- 
lus are eaten by other worms not 
so trained, the untrained worms so 
fed learn to respond to a light 
stimulus several times faster than 
ordinary worms. 



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DECEMBER 1966 



1057 



41#' 
tip 




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Testifying that man's destiny is to become as 
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activity is a first and necessary step on the 
long road to perfection. 



MARY FIELDING SMITH 
Daughter of Britain 

by Don C. Corbett 



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TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES! 

by Joseph Fielding Smith 



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A compilation of some of the most forceful 
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knowledge of many vital areas of the Gospel. 



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THE GOSPEL TODAY 

by Gerrit de Jong, Jr. 



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9. 

OUR UTAH PIONEERS 

by Mabel Harmer 
illustrated by Virginia Archer 



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A CONVERT'S TRIBUTE TO PRESIDENT 
DAVID 0. McKAY 

by F. E. Schluter $1.50 

A prominent American businessman is capti- 
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TEACH ME 

by Dorthea C. Murdoch 



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12. 

FUNDAMENTALS OF GENEALOGICAL 
RESEARCH $2.95 

bv Laureen R. Jaussi and Gloria D. Chaston 



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13. 



THE BOOK OF MORMON STORY 

by Mary Pratt Parrish 
illustrated by Ronald Crosby 



$6.95 



Dynamic stories from sacred scripture are 
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color paintings add a new dimension to favor- 
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tteseret Book 

COMPANY 

44 EAST SO. TEMPLE AND AT COTTONWOOD MALL 

SALT LAKE CITY 

2472 WASHINGTON BLVD., OGDEN 

777 SO. MAIN ST.. ORANGE, CALIFORNIA 



MAIL COUPON EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS GIVING 



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44 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 777 South Main, Orange, California 

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fornians ordering from Orange store please add 4% sales tax. 
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66 December Kr;i 



The Improvement Era 



The Voice of the Church 




Official organ of the Priesthood 
Quorums, Mutual Improvement 
Associations, Home Teaching Com- 
mittee, Music Committee, Department 
of Education, and other agencies 
of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints 



Contents for December 1966 



Volume 69, Number 12 



Church Features 

The Editor's Page: Peace, Good Will, and Life, President David O. McKay ...1070 

General Conference Addresses 1090-1153 

A Divine Plan for Finding Security and Peace of Mind, 

President David O. McKay 1091 

The Church— A Worldwide Institution, President David O. McKay 1131 

The Will of God, President David O. McKay 1152 

Marriage, the Family, and the Home, President Hugh B. Brown 1094 

The Gospel Our Bulwark, President N. Eldon Tanner ... ...1096 

Judgments of the Lord to Pour Forth, President Joseph Fielding Smith ..1099 

General Conference Index, 1064; The Church Moves On, 1067; Melchizedek Priesthood: 
Joseph Smith— A Mighty Prophet and a Mighty Man, 1166; Presiding Bishopric's Page, 1168. 

Special Features 

Which Line Should I Follow? 1073 

Are These Portraits of the Prophet Joseph Smith? Doyle L. Green 1074 

A Christmas Song, Reed Blake 1080 

Much Like Paul, Hazel M. Thomson .1082 

Since Cumorah (Conclusion), Hugh Nibley 1084 

The Era Asks About Advance Planning 1086 

The Spoken Word from Temple Square, Richard L. Evans ..1088, 1154, 1156, 1176 
Best of Movies, Howard Pearson 1155 

Exploring the Universe, Franklin S. Harris, Jr., 1057; Buffs and Rebuffs, 1066; These Times: 
Inventory of Our Fellowmen, G. Homer Durham, 1068. 

The Era of Youth 1177 

The Last Word 1192 

Family and Home Features 

Today's Family, Florence B. Pinnock, Editor 

A Merry Christmas from Our Leading Ladies 1170 

Home, Sweet Home 1176 

Stories, Poetry 

A Different Kind of Christmas, Lael J. Littke 1078 

Poetry 1089, 1153, 1160, 1174 



ART AND PHOTO CREDITS 

Illustration : 

1057, 1068, 1080, 1192 - Ed 

Maryon 
1078 - Judy Noble 
1082 — Jerry Thompson 
1084 — Trevor Southey 
1170 -Phyllis Luch 
1180-81, 1188, 1191 -Sherry 

Thompson 
1184-85 - Jeanne Lindorff 

Photography : 
1070 -Ralph Clark 
1070-71 - Doyle L. Green 
1086 - Ernst Wittke 
1090-1153 -Deseret News 
1155 — Twentieth Century-Fox 
1178, 1183, 1186-87, 1189- 
Eldon Linschoten 

Lettering * 

1070, 1074, 1078, 1083, 1171 and 

Era of Youth: Maurice Scanlon 
1089 - Warren Luch 
1177- John Bullock 



The Improvement Era Offices, 79 South State, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 

David O. McKay and Richard L. Evans, Editors; Doyle L. Green, Managing Editor; Albert L. Zohell, Jr., Research Editor; Mabel Jones Gabbott, Jay M. 
Todd, Eleanor Knowles, Editorial Associates; Florence B. Pinnock, Today's Family Editor; Marion D. Hanks, The Era of Youth Editor, Elaine Cannon, 
The Era of Youth Associate Editor; Keith Montague, The Era of Youth Art Director; Ralph Reynolds, General Art Director; Norman F. Price, Staff Artist. 

G. Homer Durham, Franklin S. Harris, Jr., Hugh Nuiley, Sidney B. Sperry, Alma A. Gardiner, Contributing Editors. 

G. Carlos Smith, Jr., General Manager; Florence S. Jacobsen, Associate General Manager; Verl F. Scott, Business Manager; A. Glen Snarr, Subscription 

Director; Thayer Evans, S. Glenn Smith, Advertising Representatives. 

©General Superintendent, Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1966, and published by the Mutual 
Improvement Associations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All rights reserved. Subscription price, $3.00 a year, in advance; multiple subscrip- 
tions, 2 years, $5.75; 3 years, $8.25; each succeeding year, $2.50 a year added to the three -year price; 35<f single copy, except for special issues. 
Entered at the Post Office, Salt Lake City, Utah, as second-class matter. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in section 1103, act 
of October 1917, authorized July 2, 1918. 

The Improvement Era is .not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts but welcomes contributions. Manuscripts are paid for on acceptance and must be accom- 
panied by sufficient postage for delivery and return. 

Thirty days' notice is required for change of address. When ordering a fihange, please include address slip from a recent issue of the magazine. Address 
changes cannot be made unless the old address as well as the new one is included. 



THE COVER 

Is this a portrait of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith? ( See article page 
1074.) The old painting from which 
this cover was produced hecame the 
property of an Ostertag family 
in Germany about 1855. It now 
belongs to Dr. J. LeRoy Kimball 
of Salt Lake Citv. 



Cover lithographed in full color 
by Deseret News Press 



IO6O 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




JUST OFF THE PRESS! 



1. TRUE TO THE FAITH 
Compiled by Llewelyn R. McKay 

A monumental new book of the 
sermons and writings of President 
David 0. McKay. Arranged alpha- 
betically by subject matter. Inspir- 
ing spiritual counsel from the pen 
of a prophet. $3.95 



2. MORMON DOCTRINE 
by Bruce R. McConkie 

A compendium of the Gospel that 
has been revised and enlarged. A 
must for every L.D.S. library. 875 
pages with fingtertip reference. 

$6.95 



3. THE FOURTH THOUSAND YEARS 4. THE TEN MOST WANTED MEN 



by W. Cleon Skousen 

This is the third volume in W. Cleon 
Skousen's best selling series on the 
Bible. The Fourth Thousand Years 
covers the dramatic sweep of events 
from the time of David to Christ. 
Nearly 900 pages. $6.95 



by Paul H. Dunn 

This great story teller tells the ten 
qualities most desired in a leader. 
Filled with stirring examples. Publi- 
cation date December 10. 

$3.50 




David 0. McKay 



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DECEMBER 1966 




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Salt Lake City, Utah 



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5. THE VALLEY OF TOMORROW 

A new L.D.S. novel by Gordon T. Allred 




This exciting contemporary novel by Gordon Allred marks the 
beginning of a new era in creative L.D.S. writing. It is the 
dramatic and descriptive story of a profound spiritual experience 
n the iife of a young man interwoven with a tender and poign- 
ant love story. Realistic, but free of the sordid immorality which 
permeates so much of today's literature. Exciting reading. 

$3.50 



7. FAITH, PEACE 
AND PURPOSE 
by Richard L. 
Evans 

Another inspiring 
book in Elder 
Evans' series of 
excerpts from "The 
Spoken Word" 
radio broadcasts. 
Always a welcome 

gift. 

$4.00 




ESSAGJS 

OFTHI 
FIRS 

PRESIDENCY 

f VOW'** "• 



um 



8. MESSAGES OF 
THE FIRST 
PRESIDENCY 
Vol. Ill 

Compiled by James 
R. Clark. Inspired 
messages by Church 
Presidents Wilford 
Woodruff and Lor- 
enzo Snow during 
the period 1885 to 
1901. 

$4.50 




9. PROPHETS, 
PRINCIPLES AND 
NATIONAL SURVIVAL 

Compiled by Gerald L. Newquist 

Read what Presidents of the Church and 
other General Authorities have said about 
questions and issues which now face the 
nation and the world. An enlightening 
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and other issues. 

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gained stature as a 
speaker, mission- 
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12. FROM A 
BISHOP'S 
NOTEBOOK 
by Merrill B. 
Tew 

A Bishop's col- 
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meaningful stories. 
Delightful light 
reading and an 
excellent source for 
teaching and talks. 
$2.00 



11. J. GOLDEN 
KIMBALL 
by Claude 
Richards 

Although he was 
left fatherless at 
15 and gravitated 
to rough occupa- 
tions, inspiration 
and ambition led 
him to the higher 
way of life. 

$3.95 




FAMILY STORAGE PLAN 



13. FOOD 
STORAGE 
PLAN 

A handy guide on 
how to store food 
and what food to 
store. A book you 
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as a constant ref- 
erence. 

$1.50 



New for Children 




14. BEFORE I 
WAS BORN 
by George 
Bickerstaff 

An explanation of 
thepre-existencein 
children's verse. 
Delightfully illus- 
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comprehension of 
a beautiful, mean- 
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$2.25 




15. THE STORY 
OF LIFE FOR 
LDS 
CHILDREN 

by Jane Lund 
and Nancy 
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Beautifully written 
to help parents 
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Appeals to ages 6 
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1 16. FAMILY 




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A new genealogy 
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17. SEQUENCE 

A new game with cards and quizzes hav- 
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Deluxe Edition 

19. JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES 

Now only $59.95 




This special limited offer has been 
extended by popular demand! 



A complete 26-volume set for only $59.95. Purchase the 
entire set now and receive absolutely free a handsomely 
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a must for all Latter-day Saints who teach or study Church 
history. 

This special offer expires soon, so order today. Ask your 
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20. PIONEERS AND 
PROMINENT MEN 
OF UTAH 

A classic that was reprinted by popular 
demand. Portraits, genealogy, and bio- 
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on foot and by handcart prior to 1868 
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GENERAL 
CONFERENCE INDEX 

SPEAKERS 

Benson, Ezra Taft 1144 

Brockbank, Bernard P 1133 

Brown, Hugh B 1094 

Brown, Victor L 1127 

Burton, Theodore M 1111 

Christiansen, EIRay L 1147 

Critchlow, William J., Jr 1109 

Dunn, Paul H 1103 

Dyer, Alvin R 1151 

Evans, Richard L 1119 

Hanks, Marion D 1130 

Hinckley, Gordon B 1121 

Hunter. Howard W 1104 

Hunter, Milton R 1114 

Kimball, Spencer W. 1105 

Lee, Harold B 1142 

Long~den, John 1112 

McConkie, Bruce R 1139 

McKay, David 1091, 1131, 1152 

Monson, Thomas S 1101 

Packer, Boyd K 1149 

Petersen, Mark E 1137 

Richards, Franklin D 1124 

Richards, LeGrand 1116 

Romney, Marion G 1117 

Simpson, Robert L 1148 

Smith, Eldred G 1128 

Smith, Joseph Fielding 1099, 1135 

Sonne, Alma 1126 

Stapley, De'bert L 1140 

Tanner, N. Eldon 1096, 1136 

Vandenberg, John H .1123 

Young, S. Dilworth 1108 

SUBJECTS 

Chastity 1099 

Church 1131, 1139 

Communism 1144 

Conference 1151 

Covenants 1136 

Debt 1123, 1124 

Discipline 1127 

Faith 1101 

Fall 1099 

Family 1094. 1127, 1149 

Family Planning .1149 

Forgiveness 1148 

Free Agency 1091, 1103, 1144 

Genealogy and Temple Work 1111 

God 1142 

Gospel Plan 1126, 1147 

Government 1091, 1144 

Happiness 1114 

Holy Ghost 1140, 1142 

Home 1094, 1096 

Honesty 1137 

Humility 1124 

Immortality 1114, 1128, 1152 

Jesus Christ 1101, 1147, 1148 

Last Days 1099, 1116, 1117 

Law 1127 

Leadership 1130 

Liquor by the Drink 1091, 1136 

Love 1101, 1147 

Marriage 1094, 1103 

Missionary Work 1133 

Morals 1091, 1099 

Mortality 1119 

Music 1101 

Obedience 1101, 1108 

Parents 1108, 1127, 1149 

Peace 1104, 1128 

Priesthood 1131, 1135, 1136 

Prophets 1105, 1116 

Responsibility (Personal) 1116 

Resurrection 1112 

Revelation 1105, 1140, 1142 

Scrolls (Dead Sea, Egyptian) 1109 

Service 1119, 1130 

Servicemen 1121, 1142 

Smith, Joseph 1139 

Socialism 1144 

Testimony 1096, 1152 

Tithing 1123 

Truth 1103 

Viet Nam 1121 

Visitors' Centers 1133 

War 1104, 1121 

Wickedness 1128 

Widtsoe, John A 1126 

Word of Wisdom 1091, 1114 

Work 1130 

Youth 1108, 1142, 1149 

Those not speaking at this general confer- 
ence included: President Thorpe B. Isaacson of 
the First Presidency; Elders Sterling W. Sill, 
Henry D. Taylor, James A. Cullimore, Assistants 
to the Twelve; Presidents Antoine R. Ivins and 
A. Theodore Turtle, First Council of the 
Seventy. Arch L. Madsen was a speaker at 
priesthood meeting; his remarks are not in this 
issue of the Era. 



1064 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




J. A. Kjar 



4 We at KSL, Home of radio, (botany out of our mum/ windows, 
extend fest wishes toj/oufbr ajoyous fwftdm) Sstemy season. 



J. A. Kjar, Vice President & General Manager — Radio 




The "Annual Sounds of Christmas" ... a Christmas 
Eve broadcast saluting Christmas ... the spirit of 
Christmas with leaders throughout this area responding. 

I "Christmas Carol" ... a little girl presents short, on- 
air vignettes throughout the day on decorating hints, 
saluting Christmas, etc. 

"Annual Kids Party" . . . saluting Christmas through 
the Salt Lake Welfare with a free movie for the needy 
children 



home of radio 

_ Broadcast House 

DIAL 160 Salt Lake City, Utah 



• "Quarters for Christmas" . . . began last year with 
Hal Peterson. This year, it will run throughout the 
program schedule with all KSL personalities partici- 
pating. Quarters sent in by listeners will provide a 
Merry Christmas for needy children. 

1 "Au Petit Nlarche Noel" . . . Christmas shopping for 
unique and different Christmas items of interest to 
KSL listeners. 



50,000 watt clear channel CBS Radio, voice for Western America 



DECEMBER 1966 



1065 



MIA Girls 
Quartet Repertoire 



Alice Blue Gown 

Annie Laurie #8180 

Autumn Serenade 

Battle Hymn of the Republic #8181 

Beauty Shop Quartet 

Bird Songs at Eventide #5019 

Blue Hawaii 

Bye Bye Blues 

Deep Purple 

Funny Ole Hills 

Homing #5017 

I Hear America Singing 

Little Grey Home in the West 
#5005 

The Laugh #6659 
Make Believe 
Mister Sandman #7701 
Moonlight and Shadows 
Moon River 
My Ideal 

My Old Kentucky Home #2609 
My Own America 
Lonesome Road 
My Dearest Prayer 
Old Folks at Home #2623 
Ole King Cole #4843 
Out of Nowhere 

Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be? 
#9995 

Please 

Sweet and Low #1423 

These Are the Times #8637 

Through the Years 

Why Do I Love You 

When I Grow Too Old to Dream 

Who 

Without a Song 

World is Waiting for The Sunrise 

BOOKS 

Belles a ' Singing 
Harmonize the World 
Hymns from the Crossroads — 
Leroy Robertson 

Lawrence Welk Presents the 
Lennon Sisters 

17 Barber Shop Standards 

Sweet Adeline Music Makers 

Sweet Adeline Showcase 



Music Co 

P. 0. Box 2009 
IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO 83401 




Buffs 

and 

Rebuffs 



LDS Servicemen's Committee 

We read recently in "Buffs" about 
Capt. James E. Fletcher's family hold- 
ing home evenings for servicemen in 
Thailand. We have a son in Viet Nam. 
Another son, who is at Ft. Benning, 
Georgia, has expressed real interest 
in attending home evenings. He is 
18 years old. How can we get in 
touch with someone who could help 
him? 

Mrs. Ivan Shaw 
Othello, Wash. 

Your letter has been referred to the 
LDS Servicemen's Committee, whose 
role is to assist both parents and 
servicemen concerning the needs of 
those in the military service. Anyone 
may ivrite to LDS Servicemen's Com- 
mittee, U7 East South Temple, Salt 
Lake City, Utah 84.111. 

"If Only" for Reader's Digest 

My family was very impressed with 
the short story "If Only" in the Octo- 
ber Era of Youth. We feel that the 
story has a great message for the 
people of the nation. May we suggest 
you offer it to the Reader's Digest? 
Let's have more such stories. 

Merna B. Madden 
La Puente, Calif. 

Your sentiments are kind, and 
whether or not other publications ex- 
press interest in anything we publish, 
the Era will continue to search for the 
finest expression of thought for Lat- 
ter-day Saint families. 

That Dollar Sign 

You have probably already noticed, 
but the wreath and dollar sign in "The 
Last Word," p. 848 (September Era), 
is upside down. As a printer, I want 
to say the Era is a first-class produc- 
tion, a pleasure to read. 

V. C. McKenzie 
Boise, Idaho 

"Best of Movies" 

What happened to the movie column 
in your October issue? My husband 
and I have five young children (ages 
4 to 10) and we have been very inter- 
ested in your listings. It is difficult 
for us to read all of the movie reviews 
in newspapers and magazines today, 
especially since most reviewers don't 
have the same standards as ours. 

Mrs. W. A. Owens 
Los Angeles, Calif. 



I just picked up my October Era 
and guess what? No "Best of Movies!" 
What happened? More and more 
during the past few years I have 
'found myself walking out in the mid- 
dle of pictures, either angry at the 
brutality being portrayed or embar- 
rassed by the immorality in display. 
I found I could not trust big-name 
stars nor many reviewers. Since you 
began your movie column I have gone 
to no picture until reviewed by you. 
I have not walked out on a picture 
since. 

Marie L. Sorensen 
Reno, Nevada 

Because of space needs, a desire to 
assess interest in the column, and in- 
clinations to tacitly editorialize on the 
number of films worthy of Era com- 
ment, we decided to withhold "Best 
of Movies" in October. 

A New Era? 

I have been a subscriber and reader 
of The Improvement Era for more 
than 20 years and have noted with 
pleasure the many changes and im- 
provements made over the years. I 
don't know what it is, but the Era 
seems to have a new look lately. Am 
I right? 

Pearl H. Smith 
Salt Lake City 

Glad you noticed. Besides the intro- 
duction of "Buffs and Rebuffs," 
"Best of Movies," and "The Era 
Asks," numerous small changes have 
been made — perhaps imperceptible to 
most — with an eye to making the Era 
even more readable, attention- getting, 
and thought-provoking. With your 
interest in change, you'll be especially 
pleased with the January issue, when 
the Era steps forivard into a brand 
new layout scheme. We hope you 
enjoy it. 

Tips for Teachers 

Recently all of our first-year Laurel 
class brought a copy of the Era to 
class and discussed an article that 
particularly inspired us. Each per- 
son found something spiritually up- 
lifting and helpful. The Era helps 
us to maintain our standards and 
keeps us plugging. We challenge all 
the youth of Zion to explore it! 

Kris Hughes Colleen Norton 

Arlene Anderson Dawnetta Roberts 

Lanett Palmer Shirlene Peterson 
Kathy Johnson Provo, Utah 



1066 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



The Church 

Moves 

On 



OCTOBER 1966 

An early morning church 
welfare meeting was held in 
the Assembly Hall. 

General conference sessions were 
held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the 
Tabernacle. 

General priesthood meeting con- 
vened this evening in the Taber- 
nacle with direct-wire coverage to 
the Assembly Hall and to 472 other 
priesthood congregations in the 
United States and Canada. 

The appointment of Jay Welch 
to the YMMIA general board was 
announced. 

This was the concluding day 
of the general conference. In 
all, some 170 TV stations and 30 
radio stations had made facilities 
available for the broadcasting of 
all or part of the conference. Some 
of the sessions were transmitted to 
congregations of Saints in Europe. 
Theme of the conference of the 
Deseret Sunday School Union this 
evening was "In His Footsteps." 

The appointment of Mrs. Ra- 
mona M. Jacob, Mrs. Marie 
M. Glade, Mrs. Helene K. Smith, 
Mrs. Virginia W. Anderson, and 
Mrs. Blanche B. Miles to the Pri- 
mary general board was announced. 

The First Presidency an- 
nounced the appointment of 
Franklin Kay Gibson, bishop of the 
Mesa (Arizona) 13th Ward, as 
president of the Andes South Mis- 
sion, succeeding President John 
Meyers. 

No Latter-day Saint mission- 
aries were reported to be 

involved in the worst earthquake 

to hit Peru in 26 years. 

Franklin Lorenzo Richards 
West, 81, former Church 
commissioner of education and 
Utah educator, died in a Salt Lake 
City hospital. Funeral services 
were held October 24 in the As- 
sembly Hall. 




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DECEMBER 1966 



1067 



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Inventory 
of our 
Fallow Men 

THESE TIMES 

By Dr. G. Homer Durham 

President, Arizona State University, Tempe 




• Year-end inventory and stock- 
taking is a common practice, en- 
couraged by the calendar and 
revenue laws. A new year begins 
each January 1. In the northern 
hemisphere, where our calendar 
originated, the days begin to get 
longer. Longer days and shorter 
nights seem to encourage new 
hopes. Revenue laws require year- 
end accounting for tax purposes. 
Many »use the occasion to take 
inventory of their lives as well as 
their financial situation. 

Today, more than ever before, 
each individual life is bound up 
with the lives of others. One's re- 
lations to his fellowmen are too 
complicated to catalog. No man 
lives to himself alone. Yet he is 
responsible for his own actions. To 
what extent can one take inventory 
of his relation to his fellow beings? 
Hardly at all, we must answer, with 
any degree of scientific accuracy. 
But unless we make some assess- 
ment, we cannot take the necessary 
actions. Sometimes we are wise to 
conform and agree. Sometimes it 
is right to dissent and pursue a 
lonely course. 

Where are the crowds going? 
Where are you going? What di- 
rections are indicated by taking 
inventory? 

Religion provides the assuring 
and comforting answers for indi- 
vidual and family guidance. Re- 
ligion provides guide lines for the 
individual in seeking to do good, 



in shunning evil. For the world 
as a whole, however, religion offers 
a seemingly contradictory judg- 
ment: either the world is going 
to the dogs, "ripening in iniquity," 
or it is improving. Like indi- 
viduals, who either progress or 
retrogress, the world as a com- 
munity does not stand still. Is it 
improving? Or is it getting worse? 
The scriptures provide basis for 
men to argue the issue either way. 
Scriptural optimists, I think, gen- 
erally tend to be in the minority. 
At least their voices are not heard 
as loudly as the Jeremiahs. But it 
is also possible that all who spe- 
cialize in jeremiads are not really 
pessimists. They are sometimes 
very optimistic. They issue the 
warnings, not to produce pessimists 
but to help insure a safer road for 
optimism. 

Is the world ripening in iniquity? 
Or is it slowly and effectively being 
renewed to receive its paradisiacal 
glory? Does renewal come only 
after cataclysmic destruction, fol- 
lowed by somewhat spontaneous 
and miraculous or instantaneous 
renewal? Or by hard work? The 
scriptures and interpretations there- 
of can be assembled on all sides 
of the question. The fact that this 
magazine bears the title "The Im- 
provement Era" suggests to some 
that we are living in an era in 
which improvement, as a conse- 
quence of the restoration of the 
gospel, is the order of the day and 



1068 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



that the process is underway. I 
suppose that to others, the words 
are merely the name of a church 
magazine, not a symbolic sugges- 
tion of the meaning of an epoch 
in time. 

All sides of the question repose 
great faith in God. Trust in his 
loving care, as with divine guidance 
for individual living, is a sure 
foundation for the individual. But 
to what extent can his other 
children (besides ourselves) be 
trusted? This is the question in 
dealing with social inventory. 

Trust in God is a certain, defi- 
nite principle of individual deci- 
sion-making. What about trust 
in one's fellowmen? Are they, and 
can they be, worthy of trust? Which 
ones? When? If the general 
direction of mankind is toward 
iniquitous ripening, can one repose 
confidence in others caught in the 
mainstream? If the world is really 
launched on an era of improve- 
ment, destined to move toward the 
widening of God's kingdom on 
earth, is the arm of flesh more 
reliable? 

Air travel is common in these 
times. Perhaps the microcosm of 
the airborne society, a hundred 
men and women aboard a modern 
jet, provides a useful case study. 
Man finds himself in many social 
situations in a lifetime, some 
pleasant, some unpleasant. Some 
he can leave. Others, like being 
aboard an airliner, provide no 
possible exit until the flight is 
over. Life on the planet we in- 
habit has the characteristics of a 
flight. The planet is a much larger 
and commodious carrier. But we 
enter and leave, all of us, by the 
same routes. So also do the pas- 
sengers on the plane. 

Whom do we trust during our 
plane ride between New York City 
and San Francisco? Naturally, we 
trust God. Do we also trust the 
arm of flesh? We certainly do. It 
is comforting to know that the 
engineer who designed the plane is 
a brother, a child of God. But 
that is not quite enough. We also 
hope that he is a graduate of MIT 
or Cal. Tech. or some other such 
school. We hope that the riveters 
at Boeing or Douglas knew their 
job, and that the metallurgists and 
other workmen at Alcoa had the 
benefit of what metallurgical sci- 
ence and technology knows and is 
capable (Continued on page 1088) 




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IE 12-66 



The 




in focus 




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• ■ • Digging deep to analyze the complete news in terms the 
layman can make meaningful. 

DESERET NEWS 



DECEMBER 1966 



1069 



THE EDITOR'S PAGE / PRESIDENT DAVID O. McKAY 




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• Christmas is the happiest season of the year. At 
first thought, it is strange that this is so, particularly 
in our northern climates. The days are short and 
gloomy; the nights, cold and long; trees are leafless, 
and the landscape barren or covered with snow. 
Nevertheless, Christmas, even in the depth of winter, 
is full of happiness and cheer. 

This is because in Christian lands the Yuletide fes- 
tivity is impregnated with the spirit of the Christ. 
At this time, more than at any other, we think of 
others and try to express either in word or deed our 




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Le/t: Bethlehem, in the top of the Above: The holy city of Jerusalem. Below: Overlooking the rooftops of 
Judean hills, where the Savior of man- Picture was taken from Mt. Olivet, old Jerusalem from a high building 
kind was born some 2000 years ago. looking west over the Kidron Valley, just inside the ancient city wall. 




UK 












desire to make others happy. Herein lies the secret 
of true happiness. "He who will lose his life for my 
sake and the gospel's shall find it" is sound philosophy, 
which the true Christmas spirit helps us to understand. 

If you were to ask me to name the one city that 
has given to the world a greater civilization than any 
other city, without hesitation I would name Jeru- 
salem. I would give that ancient city this distinction, 
not because it was the "City of David," nor because 
it still holds the veneration of the three great religions 
of mankind, but because I would associate with it 
the life, the teachings, and the death of Jesus Christ, 
the Redeemer of the world. 

Five miles south of Jerusalem is Bethlehem, a little 
town of great historical importance, which will also 
be venerated as long as there are Christian hearts 
to feel or Christian lips to utter prayer. Its importance 
comes not because it is one of the oldest cities in 
Palestine, nor because we associate with it the beauti- 
ful story of Ruth, the home of Jesse and David, and 
many other important persons and incidents in 
biblical history, but because in Bethlehem was cradled 
the Savior of mankind. 

"Jerusalem" (the Canaanite Urusalim, the Hebrew 
Yarushalayim) means "the abode of peace." "Bethle- 
hem" (Beit Lahm) means "the house of bread," per- 
haps because from very early times it has been a 
fruitful district, and because the original plant from 
which cultivated wheat was developed has been 
found wild only near Bethlehem. It is significant that 
from the home of bread, the "staff of life," springs 
also mankind's "bread of life." 

Peace! Life— eternal life! The approaching festive 
season, in which we celebrate the birth of the Re- 
deemer, should add greater meaning to those words. 

Peace, the opposite of fear, was the message given 
to the shepherds by the angels, who said, "Fear not: 
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy." 

Peace was heralded by the heavenly hosts that sang, 
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, 
good will toward men." 

"Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace," 
cried the aged Simeon as he beheld through inspira- 
tion the Blessed Child that should be "a light to 
lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people 
Israel." 

Peace and good will undoubtedly filled the hearts 
of the Wise Men as they brought their glittering 
gold and costly gifts to the true King of the Jews. 
Valueless, indeed, seemed their wealth of treasure in 



comparison with the rapture that filled their beings 
as on bended knees they worshiped their king, whom 
they had found through their learning and their 
sincere searching for truth. 

Love for God and for one another should be the 
Christmas theme. Such was the divine announcement 
by the heavenly host that first heralded the "glad 
tidings of great joy!" 

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, 
good will toward men!" How simple the words! How 
deep, how comprehensive their significance! At 
Christmas, we celebrate his birth in whose mission 
on earth (1) God is glorified; (2) earth is promised 
peace; (3) all men are given the assurance of God's 
good will toward them! 

If every man born into the world would have as 
the beacon of his life these three glorious ideals, 
how much sweeter and happier life would be. With 
such an aim, everyone would seek all that is pure, 
just, honorable, virtuous, and true—all that leads to 
perfection. He would eschew that which is impure, 
dishonorable, or vile. If every man desired to show 
good will toward his fellowmen and strove to express 
that desire in a thousand kind sayings and little 
deeds that would reflect unselfishness and self- 
sacrifice, what a contribution each would make toward 
universal peace on earth and the happiness of man- 
kind! 

Christmas is a fitting time to renew our desires 

and to strengthen our determination to do all that 

lies within our power to make real among men the 

message heralded by the angels when the Savior was 

born. Let us glorify God by seeking the good, the 

true, the beautiful! Let us strive to establish peace 
on earth by exercising the same good will toward one 

another that God has shown toward us! 

May Christmas 1966 find love and a desire to bless 
others abiding in the heart of every Latter-day Saint. 
In all such hearts and homes will be found peace and 
good will toward all men. Where this peace abides, 
it matters little whether the possessor be rich or poor, 
for he will have, in addition to the peace that gives 
"joy unspeakable," the assurance that the Son of Man 
gave when he said: "I am the bread of life: he that 
cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that be- 
lieveth in me shall never thirst." 

Peace, good will, and life everlasting are the bless- 
ings, then, we wish everyone as we repeat once again 
the glad old greeting: A merry, merry Christmas, and 
a happy, prosperous new year! 



1072 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Which 



Line Should 



Follow? 



"Which line do I follow?" is the question asked by many 
Saints when the "spirit of Elijah" excites them and they begin 
hunting ancestors. The answer is easy. We search for our 
direct ancestors. Direct ancestors are our father and mother, our 
grandfathers and grandmothers, and all our great-grandparents 
in a seemingly endless chain back— 2nd great-grandparents, 3rd 
great-grandparents, 4th great-grandparents, and on back. We 
search not only for ancestors that bear our surname but for all 
our direct ancestors. One is not more "kin" to us than another. 
Each bears the same relationship to us. If, however, a line of 
sealing happens to differ from the direct blood line, the line we 
follow is the line of sealing. 

The goal in research is to continually extend all the "dead 
ends" on our pedigree charts, to prepare family group records 
for newly found ancestors, and to perform temple ordinances 
in behalf of those whose names appear on the new family group 
records we prepare. This type of activity seems almost eternal 
and somewhat paradoxical, because the more we do, the more 
there is to be done. 

With all the research each of us needs to do, there is only 
sufficient time available to work on direct ancestral lines. We 
cannot afford to spend time searching for data on families of 
collateral relationship or on families who have no relationship 
to us without forsaking the research on our direct ancestry. Con- 
sequently, the priesthood genealogy committee urges us to con- 
centrate our research only on our direct ancestral lines. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1073 



Remarkable likeness to 

other paintings suggests 

that this portrait, featured on 

the front cover, may be of the 

Prophet. An intriguing story 

surrounds its appearance in 

Europe and in America. 

Artist is unknown. 



This imprint is from a seal 

used by the Prophet on his 

stationery. It was found 

earlier this year on a letter 

addressed to Elder 

Willard Richards. 








j This sketch, recently found 
in an old New England 
home at Carlisle, 

I Massachusetts, shows 
close resemblance 
to Joseph. The signature of 
"I. M. Crowley, del" is 
on back of picture. 



Will these three recent 




BY DOYLE L. GREEN 

MANAGING EDITOR 



• Is the picture reproduced on the cover of this issue 
of The Improvement Era a painting of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith? If this can be proved to be an original, 
it would be a find of inestimable interest and value 
to Latter-day Saints. 

Although only 122 years have passed since the death 
of the Prophet, there is considerable disagreement as 
to what he actually looked like. Was a photograph 
taken of him during his lifetime? Are any of the 
paintings in existence true likenesses? 1 

One thing is certain. The cover painting bears a 
remarkable resemblance to some of the existing pic- 
tures of the Prophet. Almost everyone who sees it 
asks, "Where did you get that picture of Joseph 
Smith?" 

When the picture was called to the attention of 
The Improvement Era staff by our editor, Elder 



'For a scholarly and extensive treatment of this subject, see "What 
Did the Prophet "Joseph Smith Look Like?" by Marba C. Josephson. 
The Improvement Era, May 1953, p. 311. 




THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



discoveries cast additional light on the physical appearance of the Prophet? 



Richard L. Evans, we immediately set about to learn 
more concerning it, with the hopes of determining its 



origin. 



The original oil painting, which is 8 x 10 inches 
in size, is the property of and is reproduced by per- 
mission of Dr. J. LeRoy Kimball, prominent Salt Lake 
City physician and president and chairman of the 
executive committee of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. He 
obtained it from O. C. Dunn, who purchased it from 
a Salt Lake City antique dealer, who in turn is re- 
ported to have bought it from a German immigrant 
named Ludwig Wilhelm Ostertag. Salt Lake City 
directories listed Mr. Ostertag in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 
1958 as an artist who lived at 1470 South 3rd East. 
He was not listed in 1959. Mr. Ostertag's wife, Marie 
Theresia, and a daughter, Marianne Therese, are on 
the Church membership records. It was learned that 
the family returned to Germany in 1958 and were 
living in the Bamburg Branch of the Bavarian 



Mission.- Contact was subsequently made with the 
Ostertags through Owen Spencer Jacobs, Bavarian 
Mission president, and it was learned that the paint- 
ing first came into the possession of the Ostertag 
family in about 1855. 

Mr. Ostertag's great-grandfather acquired it from 
a wealthy Englishman who formerly owned a castle 
in Kuhlenfels. It is not known why or how the paint- 
ing came into the possession of the Ostertag family, 
but Mr. Ostertag is an artist, as were also his father 
and grandfather. 

The picture was passed down through the family, 
and the present Mr. Ostertag took it with him to 
America when he emigrated about 1954. When 
Mr. Ostertag obtained the painting from his father, 
the canvas was cracking and falling apart, so he 
mounted it on pressed wood and did some retouching. 
Experts who have examined the painting feel that it 

-Combined with South German Mission May 10, 1965. 



DECEMBER 1966 



107S 



A. Some believe this an 
original daguerreotype of 
the Prophet, done in 
Nauvoo in 1843. 



B. Portrait completed 
by L. A. Ramsay 
in 1910. 

C. Crayon sketch, 
made by De Bault 
in 1853 from oil 
painting in Nauvoo 
House. 

I). Josepli wrote that 
he sat for this 1842 
e telling by Rogers. 
Hyrum is at right. 

E. John G. De Haan's 
painting of a paint- 
C ing done in Nauvoo 
by W. Majors. 




F. Purported to be 
an original drawing 

of the Prophet by 
S. Maudley. 

G. Many think this 
painting was done 

during Joseph's 
lifetime. 

H. Statue of Joseph 

hi/ Torlief Knaplms 

in If) 47. 




possibly could date back to the early nineteenth 
century. 

Mr. Ostertag reports that he "did not know who 
the person in the portrait was" until he saw a similar 
picture in Salt Lake City. He was then, as is most 
everyone else who sees the painting, impressed with 
the close resemblance it bears to pictures of the 
Prophet Joseph Smith. 

The more we have examined the painting, the more 
we are impressed with it. The eyes are especially 
sensitive and prophetic looking. We have wondered 
if it could be an original portrait of the Prophet that 
was actually painted during his lifetime and carried 
to Europe by the Englishman from whom Mr. Oster- 
tag's great-grandfather obtained it. 

Another drawing that has recently been discovered 
and that bears remarkable resemblance to sketches 
of the Prophet was found by Brother and Sister E. 
Arthur Collins of Logan, Utah. 



While in Massachusetts in the interest of genealogy, 
they visited the James H. Wilkins homestead in 
Carlisle. In this beautiful New England home, at 
the top of a narrow and steep stairway, they were 
startled to see the sketch reproduced here. Turning 
to Mrs. Wilkins, one of them asked, "Do you know 
who that is?" 

Mrs. Wilkins responded: "I have no idea, but he 
had such a good, kind face, I couldn't stand to throw 
the picture away." When Mrs. Wilkins saw how in- 
terested her visitors were in the sketch, she gave it 
to them. She reported that the sketch was among 
the belongings of Phineas and Betsy Downs Cham- 
berlain, her great-grandparents. 

Another interesting recent find was the imprint 
of a seal, used by the Prophet Joseph Smith, on an 
envelope containing a letter written by James Arling- 
ton Bennett to Dr. Willard Richards. Assistant 
Church Historian Earl E. Olson made the discovery. 



1076 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



M. Lithograph of the 

Prophet from a 

sketch by an 

unknown artist. 



I. This lithograph is 
reported to have 
been made in 18U7. 

J. Painting of last 
public address as 
lieutenant-general 
of Nauvoo Legion. 



K. Painting done in 

1920 by unknown artist 

who may have used death 

mask for basic features. 

L. From a 

lithograph 

published in 

New York. 



N. Original plaster of 
paris death mask made 
from Prophet's body 
after its return from 
Carthage to Nauvoo. 





The letter by Brother Bennett stated: 

"I have got Joseph's seal in my possession. It cost 
$25 to engrave it, and cut it. It is a perfect gem, 
but is not yet mounted. . . . 

"After the death of the Prophet, that is if he ever 
dies, this seal will be worth one thousand dollars 
at least. What would an exact head of Moses or 
Christ bring at this date?" 

In another letter Mr. Bennett indicated that the 
seal had been engraved by an Englishman named 
Brown. It is thought that the seal may have been 
copied from a sketch of Joseph Smith by Sutcliffe 
Maudsley, shown on an 1842 map of Nauvoo. It is 
questionable that the Maudsley sketch could be con- 
sidered an "exact head." A "profilist," he is said to 
have traced the Prophet's profile on a piece of paper 
tacked on a wall as the Prophet stood near it. 

A note with the article "What Did the Prophet 
Joseph Smith Look Like?" in the May 1953 Improve- 



ment Era issued the following invitation: 

". . . This article and accompanying pictures are 
presented here not as an answer to the question 
[what did the Prophet Joseph Smith look like?] but 
rather as an attempt to stimulate interest in the sub- 
ject. If our readers have any authentic information 
which will throw any light on the subject or know of 
any other photographs or paintings that may be 
authentic likenesses, we would be pleased to hear 
from you." 

Now, some 13 years later, we issue the same invita- 
tion. If any of our readers can throw additional light 
upon the picture printed on the cover, on any of the 
other pictures reproduced here, or on any other 
likenesses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we would be 
pleased to hear from you. Also, any information con- 
cerning the Englishman who owned the castle in 
Kuhlenfels during the middle of the last century 
may prove very helpful. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1077 



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more the approach 



• Martha had tried t 

mas. It was fairly easy, wnat witn all tne work to 
do around the cabin— the meals to prepare, the rugs 
to braid to cover the earthen floors, the lye soap to 
make, the snow to keep cleared away from the door, 
and the myriad of other things necessary to sustain 
life in the bleak valley. She would have kept it 
almost entirely out of her thoughts if Jed had not 
come eagerly into the cabin one day, stomping the 
snow from his cold feet as he said in an excited 
voice, "Martha, we're going to have a Christmas tree 
this year anyway. I spotted a cedar on that rise out 
south of the wheat field, over near the Norton's place. 
It's a scrubby thing, but it will do, since we can't 
get a pine. Maybe Christmas will be a little differ- 
ent here, but it will still be the kind of Christmas 
we used to have." 

It was a two- day journey from their home on the 
floor of the wide valley to the mountains where there 
were pine trees, and none of the settlers felt they 
could spare the time that busy first year to go after 
trees. Besides, the snow was too high to do any un- 
necessary travel. 

As she shook her head, Martha noticed that Daniel 
glanced quickly up from the corner where he was 
playing, patiently tying together some sticks with 
bits of string left over from the quilt she had tied a 
few days earlier. She drew Jed as far away from the 
boy as possible. 

"I don't want a tree," she said. "We won't be cele- 
brating Christmas. Even a tree couldn't make it the 
kind of Christmas we used to have." 

Jed's face set in lines that were becoming familiar. 

"Martha, we've got to do something. For the boy, 
at least. Children set such a store by Christmas." 

"Don't you think I know? All those years of fixing 
things for n Maybelle and Stellie. I know all about 
kids and Christmas." She stopped and drew a deep 
breath, glancing over to see that Daniel was occupied 
and not listening. "But I can't do those things for 
him. It would be like a knife in my heart, fixing a 
tree and baking cookies and making things for— for 
another woman's child when my own girls are back 
there on that prairie." 

"Martha, Martha," Jed said softly. "It's been al- 
most a year and a half. That's all over, and Danny 
needs you. He needs a Christmas like he remembers." 

She turned her back (Continued on page 1156) 



*£22£fi 






P*s 



;#i 







BY REED BLAKE 




• When he was asked to sell his home and 
property and move to the Cotton Mission in 
St. George in the spring of 1868, John M. Mac- 
farlane felt that it was more than just a call 
to direct one of the territory's finest choirs. To 
his mind there was in this call a special mission 
to perform, a destiny of which he knew not 
the form. 

The mission choir had been organized two 
years earlier when President Brigham Young had 
called Professor Charles J. Thomas, conductor of 
the Salt Lake Theatre orchestra and Tabernacle 
Choir, to go to St. George to "teach the people 
the correct principles of singing and train local 
talent to lead out in this direction." Now Pro- 
fessor Thomas was leaving, and Macfarlane, who 
had won acclaim as director of the Cedar City 
Choir, was taking his place as director of the 
St. George Choir. 

John Macfarlane, who was an attorney-at-law, 
a schoolteacher, and a surveyor in addition to 
being a musician, accomplished several things in 
his new position before many months had passed. 
He reorganized the choir, introduced the inno- 
vation of a choir soloist, organized the St. George 
Harmonic Society, and made a lasting friend 
of the city's poet, Charles L. Walker. 

In time Walker and Macfarlane collaborated 
on many songs, among them one that was written 
for the Sunday School children, "Dearest 
Children, God Is Near You." Macfarlane com- 
posed music, and Walker wrote words. When 
they collaborated, it was usually a composition 
to commemorate a special occasion— the dedica- 
tion of a building, a visit from a general author- 
ity, a holiday celebration on the town square. 

And so it was that the "special mission" began 
for which John M. Macfarlane felt he had been 
called to St. George. 



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In late autumn the two men had been ap- 
proached and asked to write a song for the com- 
ing Christmas program. Walker completed the 
words for the song, and now Macfarlane was 
trying to set them to music. One night he went 
to bed discouraged; he had spent the day in a 
concerted effort to write the Christmas song, 
but the effort had proven futile. How often he 
had tried. How often he had failed. How often 
he had gone to his knees on the matter. And 
now as he stared up at the darkened ceiling he 
wondered why it was that he was unable to 
write the music, which he so much desired to do. 

Yet, perhaps Macfarlane had for weeks been 
forming in his mind the song that this night he 
would finally compose. From his intense con- 
scious efforts he had probably been depositing in 
his subconscious the hymn's framework, the ele- 
ments that complemented the song he wanted 
to write. 

As he entered the heavy slumber of first sleep 
and began dreaming, he suddenly heard the 
song. Musical strains within his subconscious 
mind began forming and coming into a con- 
scious state. 

Macfarlane arose quickly. 

"Why are you getting up at this hour?" his 
wife Ann asked. 

"I have the song," he said. "I have the song 
and I must write it down." 

"You could do it just as well in the morning," 
she replied. 

"No, I must do it now." 

Dutifully, Ann left the bed and followed her 
husband to the living room. The house was 
chilled, and while Ann procured his writing 
materials, he revived the banked fire, humming 
the song as he did so, the melody and the words 
playing across his mind. Then the work began. 



It was a strange sight. The composer's portly 
frame was hunched over the organ, clothed in 
his nightshirt and stocking cap, his ankles ex- 
posed, his movements now jerky and hurried, 
now slow and pensive. And beside him his wife 
was huddled over his shoulder with an out- 
stretched candle, clad in flannel nightclothes, 
shifting the light from hand to hand and sup- 
porting with her free hand the elbow of the 
other arm. 

Quickly Macfarlane recorded the melodic line 
and then added the lyrics that had brought him 
from his sleep. What was coming to life was a 
piece so new, so dramatic, that an emotion 
welled strongly within him, and he lost himself 
from the world about him. 

Outside, the sporadic squawks and distended 
chords that came from the house fell on a city 
embraced by a winter's night. A cock crowed, 
disturbed prematurely, then went silent. A cold 
breeze went through the trees and spent itself. 
In the gray of the morning the room grew cold; 
the banked fire had died to a pile of ashes. But 
the composer did not stop to feed it. 

Now he was working on the parts, and the 
pace went slower. With one hand he fingered 
the keyboard, while with the other he wrote. 
From time to time he would lean back and look 
at his wife, and Ann would smile and nod. Often, 
as at the conclusion of a passage, she would pat 
his shoulder or squeeze his arm, conveying to her 
husband pride, approval, encouragement. The 
hours passed. 

Finally he stood, stretched, and went to the 
window. To the east the sun was edging the 
cliffs of pink and gold and bronze; in the valley 
the Virgin River picked up the shafts of light 
and glistened like a silver ribbon in its lazy drift 
toward the south. (Continued on page 1154) 




BY HAZEL M. THOMSON 




The Prophet Joseph and the Apostle Paul had 
much in common, in experiences and mission. 



• ". . . it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld contrast to the appearance of Joseph Smith as de- 

a vision. I have thought since, that I felt like Paul, scribed by Parley P. Pratt: 

when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and "President Joseph Smith was in person tall and well 

related the account of the vision he had when he saw built, strong and active; of a light complexion, light 

a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but hair, blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression 

few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, peculiar to himself, on which the eye naturally rested 

others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and with interest, and was never weary of beholding. His 

reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with 

of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, intelligence and benevolence; mingled with a look of 

and all the persecution under heaven could not make interest and an unconscious smile, or cheerfulness, 

it otherwise. . . . and entirely free from all restraint or affectation of 

"So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and gravity; and there was something connected with the 

in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and serene and steady penetrating glance of his eye,- as 

they did in reality speak to me; and though I was if he would penetrate the deepest abyss of the 

hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the heavens, 

vision, yet it was true. . . . For I had seen a vision; and comprehend all worlds." 2 

I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could The only similarity here seems to lie in the pene- 

not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew trating eyes. Paul's smallness of stature, as described 

that by so doing I would offend God, and come under by the Prophet, would seem to be borne out by the 

condemnation." (Joseph Smith 2:24-25.) fact that the men of Lycaonia thought Barnabas 

"I have thought since, that I felt much like to be Jupiter, chief of the Greek mythological gods, 

Paul. . . ." probably because of his more pleasing physical 

In writing these words concerning his first vision, appearance. Paul, whose bearing was apparently 

the Prophet Joseph Smith seemed to feel a kinship more unimpressive, was believed to be Mercurius, 

with this apostle of another era. Each had received the gods' messenger. 

a personal vision, the impact of which was so strong Paul's effectiveness as a speaker is shown chiefly 

that each dedicated the rest of his life to laboring through the wondrous success of his vast missionary 

untiringly and unceasingly in building up the king- labors. It is further attested to, however, by such 

dom of God on earth. Many other parallels in the short passages as that found in Acts 13:44: "And the 

lives of these two servants of God are interesting next sabbath day came almost the whole city together 

to contemplate. to hear the word of God." 

The Prophet's frequent references to Paul show Joseph too was a powerful speaker. Quoting again 

an intimate familiarity with Paul's words and deeds, from Parley P. Pratt; 

This interest would surely be heightened by the ". . . his language abounding in original eloquence 
Prophet's knowledge that Paul had predicted the peculiar to himself— not polished— not studied— not 
falling away that would come following Christ's smoothed and softened by education and refined by 
resurrection and by the realization that he, Joseph, art; but flowing forth in its own native simplicity, 
was the instrument in the hands of the Lord through and profusely abounding in variety of subject and 
whom the truths of the gospel were again restored to manner. He interested and edified, while, at the same 
mankind. This was in fulfillment of Paul's words time, he amused and entertained his audience; and 
upon his departure from Ephesus, when he told the none listened to him that were ever weary with his 
elders that "grievous wolves" would enter among them, discourse. I have known him to retain a congregation 
"not sparing the flock," and would draw disciples of willing and anxious listeners for many hours to- 
after them. (See Acts 20:29.) gether, in the midst of cold or sunshine, rain or wind, 

Joseph's knowledge of Paul was such that he gave while they were laughing at one moment and weeping 

the following detailed description at the School of the next. Even his most bitter enemies were generally 

the Prophets January 5, 1841: overcome, if he could once get their ears." 3 

"He is about five feet high; very dark hair; dark Concerning the Prophet as a speaker, Edward 
complexion; dark skin; large Roman nose; sharp face; Stevenson wrote: ". . . the Prophet, preached with 
small black eyes, penetrating as eternity; round such power as had not there ever before been wit- 
shoulders; a whining voice except when elevated, nessed in this nineteenth century. . . . 
and then it almost resembled the roaring of a lion. "More than two hours were occupied during that 
He was a good orator, active and diligent, always evening meeting, and so absorbing and interesting 
employing himself in doing good to his fellow man." 1 was the discourse that no one seemed to be weary, 

Rather than a parallel, however, this is in direct or to realize so much (Continued on page 1160) 



DECEMBER 1066 1083 




The accompanying installment concludes the "Since Cumorah" series 
by Dr. Nibley, begun in October 1954. Few scholars could have so 
insightfully and brilliantly acquainted Latter-day Saints with the amazing 
array of supportive evidence unearthed since disclosure of the ancient 
Nephite records at Cumorah. Many Era readers will be looking forward 
to the appearance of this material in book form. 



SINCE CUMORAH 



(SINCE QUMRAN) 



BY HUGH NIBLEY. PH.D. 

PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND RELIGION. BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 



• Aggiornamento. The compel- Christian world along strange 

ling power of ancient voices paths. "No one can deny," writes a 

speaking anew from the dust since Methodist scholar with strong 

Cumorah and especially since Catholic leanings, "that something 

Qumran is today driving the whole remarkable is going on in the for- 



merly 'unchanging' Roman Catholic 
Church." 1 Nothing less than a 
thoroughgoing revamping of doc- 
trines and ordinances is indicated. 
Restoration and revelation, forbid- 
den words but a decade or so ago, 
have become the watchwords of a 
"renewed" Christianity, both Cath- 
olic and Protestant. 

What is responsible for this 
astonishing revolution? A Protes- 
tant and a Catholic scholar, co- 
authoring a new book on the 
liturgical movement, have shown 
that the initial impulse and con- 
tinuing pressure behind the move- 
ment has been the progressive 
discovery of increasingly ancient 
documents opening up step by step 
new and strange vistas of an 
ancient Church totally unlike any- 
thing that conventional Christian- 
ity had imagined. 

R. P. Marshall, the Protestant 
minister, begins by noting that 
Protestants have been guilty of a 
systematic neglect of rites and 
ordinances; indeed, "only in recent 
years has worship been seriously 
considered by Protestants as a field 
for study. . . " 2 On the other hand, 
the Catholic writer, M. J. Taylor, 
S.J., notes that the rites of the 
Roman Church have long since 
become all but meaningless for the 
people: "Men seem unable to leave 
well enough alone. They want to 
add to what tradition has given 
them." Such additions "made for a 
sense of spectacle. ... In the litur- 
gies where bishops and the popes 
were celebrants the chants became 
almost symphonic. . . . The people, 
unable to participate in the musical 
supports to these rites, surrendered 
their role to the choir." 3 That is, 
both Catholic and Protestant 
authorities admit that their 
churches are today far removed 



1084 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



from the original rites of the 
Church, a return to which is the 
purpose of the so-called liturgical 
movement, "a practical effort . . . 
to renew the lives of all the faithful 
here and now through a revived 
liturgy." 4 And this is where the 
voices from the dust come in, for 
the movement began with those 
"patristic and liturgical studies" 
which sought the true nature of 
the liturgy in the oldest available 
documents. 4 

Dom Gueranger (1805-1875) of 
the monastery of Solesmes started 
the movement, but though he 
"thought it necessary to go back to 
the past ... he lacked the historical 
documents" necessary to take him 
far enough. Hence, "his renewal 
went back to a time when the Ro- 
man liturgy was not at its best." 5 

The greatest advance was made 
in Germany at the Monastery of 
Maria Laach, which "made an 
immeasurable contribution to the 
liturgical movement in its scholarly 
liturgical studies" and "produced 
. . , ample historical justification 
for . . . reform." 6 In short the un- 
earthing of old documents or "his- 
torical studies ( doctrinal, liturgical, 
and pastoral) made it quite clear 
that our present liturgy was not in 
the best of health." 7 Without such 
documents none would have sus- 
pected the need of going "back to 
the earlier tradition, ... a return 
to tradition to overcome defects of 
the present." 7 The same need is 
now felt by many Protestants, and 
for them too, "the liturgical move- 
ment has sought the aid of history 
and theology in the study of the 
rites." "Catholics and Protestants," 
Marshall concludes, "must recover 
what they have lost, and one can- 
not cast blame on the other." s 

As everyone knows, the world 



was mightily offended by the asser- 
tion of the Latter-day Saints that 
the Christians had lost many of the 
ancient rites and ordinances and 
was scandalized and amused by 
their preoccupation with rites and 
ordinances that they considered 
essential to salvation. 

Today the Christian world both 
admits serious losses and seeks to 
fill the gap by going back to long- 
forgotten writings, the oldest and 
most important of which have 
come forth literally from the dust 
in our own time. This astonishing 
turn of things can be illustrated by 
utterances, characteristically frank 
and scholarly, of the present pope, 
Paul VI. "Now everything is new, 
surprising, changed," he writes of 
the liturgy; "even the ringing of the 
bells at the Sanctus has been done 
away with." 9 Everything new and 
changed! That is surprising indeed, 
but there is a reason: "We are con- 
cerned," wrote the Pope in his First 
Encyclical, "to restore to the 
Church that ideal of perfection and 
beauty that corresponds to its origi- 
nal image . . . [and have] the desire 
of renewing the whole structure of 
the Church." 10 

When Mormons have spoken of 
a restoration of the gospel, other 
Christians have been quick to take 
offense and demand in outraged 
tones, "Restoration? When was it 
ever lost?" But now no less a per- 
son than the Pope of Rome declares 
that there must be a restoration 
affecting "the whole structure of 
the Church"! He speaks of "the 
great spiritual renewal which the 
Second Vatican Council hopes to 
promote" and champions "the 
Church's heroic and impatient 
struggle for renewal: the struggle 
to correct the flaws introduced by 
its members." 11 The Church "today 



... is examining herself and for- 
mulating the things which Christ, 
her founder, thought and willed 
concerning her. . . . The Church 
must now define her own nature. 
... In this way the Church will 
complete the doctrinal work which 
the First Vatican Council intended 
to enunciate." 12 ' 

To one familiar with the Catholic 
polemic of bygone years with its 
pounding emphasis on the great, 
monolithic, unchanging, universal, 
victorious Church, all this sounds 
very new, surprising, and changed 
indeed. Isn't it rather late in the 
day to try to decide what the 
Church is all about? There must 
be some good reason for such a 
drastic and abrupt change of view- 
point, and the cause is not far to 
seek— new discoveries of old docu- 
ments are confronting the world 
with an image of the early Church 
that is totally different from all 
former imaginings, but an image to 
which the present Christian world 
must somehow manage to adjust. 
That is not the whole story, but as 
in the liturgical movement in gen- 
eral, it is undoubtedly the prime 
mover. 

The voice of Qumran seems to 
echo in the terms by which the 
present pope and the council 
choose to designate the Church: 
"The People of God," "The New 
Israel," "The Wayfaring Church" 
elicit the image of Israel in the 
desert, the small band of faithful 
saints that "sometimes looks like a 
small flock." 13 "The Church has 
turned a corner," writes the editor 
of the Catholic World. "Today we 
belong to a Church which has de- 
fined itself as the People of God. 
. . . We live in an age of renewed 
attention to the charismatic gifts of 
the (Continued on page 1162) 



DECEMBER 1966 



1085 



The real estate team holds a brain- 
storming session to search for ideas. 



The Era 
Asks 

About 
Advance 

Planning 



S. Bruce Smith, director of the Ad- 
vance Planning Department of the 
Church, formerly was senior program- 
ming manager in the IBM Corporation. 




W~* 8PSP 



! 




^K 







Q — Briefly, what is the role of the 
Advance Planning Department? 

A— The Advance Planning Depart- 
ment is a service organization with 
two primary functions: The first 
function is to provide professional 
and technical services to other 



Church departments and organiza- 
tions in long-range planning, man- 
agement techniques, and operating 
functions; the second function is to 
provide computing services. 

The department now is in the 
process of developing a more 
versatile computing facility that, 
when feasible, will permit the 
feeding-in of information not only 
at the computing center but also 
from remote locations, using tele- 
phone lines. This facility will 
require the development of a 
sophisticated system to permit the 
sharing of computing capabilities 
by many users, with the necessary 
multi-programming to permit work 
to be done concurrently for the 
various departments. 
Q — What do you mean by "sys- 
tem"? 

A— A "system" as used here is any 
process or set of procedures or 
group of technologies combined to 
accomplish the work. 
Q — In which areas are you pres- 
ently working? 

A— We are currently working with 
the Genealogical Society, hospitals, 
Presiding Bishopric's Office, build- 
ing, real estate, and financial 
departments. 

Over the past four years the 
Genealogical Society has trans- 
scribed more than 1,700 of the 
parish registers of England. This 
means that more than six million 
names have now been processed 
by the computer. By the end of 
this year over 400 of these parish 
registers will have been printed in 
alphabetical order. These should 
be of great assistance to the gene- 
alogical researcher. 

The Pedigree Referral Service 
is another genealogical program 
that now makes use of the com- 
puter. This is a service aimed at 
bringing together researchers work- 




Experts check floor layout for sec- 
ond computer soon to be installed. 

ing on the same information. 

A team of analysts and pro- 
grammers is now working on a 
design that will expand current 
capabilities of the Genealogical 
Society. The expanded system 
will exploit the uses of computers 
where applicable and economical, 
and improved manual methods are 
also being developed. 

Important services to other 
Church departments are being pro- 
vided with the aid of the com- 
puter by the Church Financial 
Department. Church ledgers are 
maintained and updated in the 
monetary systems of most of the 
world's countries. Operating state- 
ments, project status reports, and 
checks are prepared and distributed 
to Church departments and or- 
ganizations throughout the world. 

A current systems study and 
development program in the finan- 
cial department will provide faster 
access to needed information and 
more timely updating of financial 
records. A reduction in the need 
for printing vast quantities of paper 
reports may be possible through 



IO86 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




A key function of advance planning teams is to chart manpower and resource 
efforts of a department with an eye to streamlining the total workload. 



the use of devices that use tele- 
vision tubes to display information. 

A "real-time" information system 
in the 16 hospitals owned by the 
Church is also being studied. "Real- 
time" means an immediate response 
from the computer when a request 
is made. This system would aid in 
processing and communication of 
medical, accounting, and adminis- 
trative information for most of the 
Church's hospitals. If proved feasi- 
ble, keyboard communication de- 
vices could link vital departments 
through a central computer. This 
system would allow immediate 
entry of new information, rapid 
order and validation of services, 
treatment review with instant print- 
out, automated scheduling, and 
allocation of resources. 

The membership department of 
the Presiding Bishopric's Office is 
being aided with a study of the 
membership records to determine 
what benefits might be gained 
through the use of the computer. 

Studies are also being conducted 
of the Church properties and the 
building program to determine the 



systems needs of these vast activi- 
ties. Plans are being made for 
the use of remote terminal devices 
connected to a central computer 
data bank to keep management 
currently informed of the status of 
any property or building project 
anywhere in the world. 
Q — Do you think the Church will 
be adopting more computerized 
and electronic innovations in its 
work? 

A— Yes, I believe so. There are still 
areas of activity in which use of 
the computer would be very bene- 
ficial. We are not, however, trying 
to promote computer usage for its 
own sake. We are carefully trying 
to determine the best tools to ac- 
complish the work, and we encour- 
age the use of these tools. 
Q — Computers, then, are not your 
only concern? 

A— No, this is only one of the areas 
in which we have responsibility. 
Other teams of specialists also assist 
Chureh departments. For example, 
our industrial engineering depart- 
ment assists many departments in 
space and facilities planning, job 



descriptions, organization planning, 
work-flow analysis, effective use of 
manpower, and systems and pro- 
cedures. Their services are in- 
valuable. 

Recently, a study team developed 
a new manual system for the Dis- 
tribution Department. working 
under the direction of the depart- 
ment's manager. This system has 
been very beneficial to the Church. 

Our interest is in serving the 
Church wherever there is a need 
and wherever we have the proper 
training and experience to do so, 
whether it is with computing or 
manual systems. 

Q — Are you able to help the 
Church avoid duplication of effort 
in its various administrative agen- 
cies? 

A— This is one of our assignments. 
There are certain information files 
that may be common to different 
departments. For example, the 
file on membership information, 
which is maintained by the mem- 
bership department of the Presid- 
ing Bishopric's Office, is useful to 
the Building Department in deter- 
mining growth trends so that future 
chapel requirements can be pro- 
jected more accurately. 
Q — Because of your previous 
experience with IBM, a firm that 
is recognized internationally for 
its selectivity of employees, may 
we ask what are your impressions 
about those who work for the 
Church? 

A— I will say that I have been 
greatly impressed with the high 
caliber of those employed by the 
Church. As a manager for IBM, 
I previously worked with some 
great people. Similarly, I have 
found people of great ability— and 
great devotion— in the various ad- 
ministrative departments of the 
Church. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1087 



A New 
Booh ! ! 




tt 



$3.95 

Post Paid 

A Catholic Priest once said: 
"YOU MORMONS ARE 
ALL IGNORAMUSES. You 
don't even know the strength 
of your own position." 

The PURPOSE of this book 
is 1) to help members of the 
Mormon Church realize how 
little they actually know 
about their church and 2) 
to help them gain a basic, 
fundamental knowledge in 
the shortest possible time 
and have fun while doing it. 

THIS BOOK INCLUDES: 

• Story of Mormonism in Scotland 

• Panorama View of the Book of 
Mormon 

• The Book of Mormon Made 
Interesting 

• The Two "Sticks" — Judah and 
Joseph 

• Missionary Study Guides and 
Teaching Methods 

• Five Unique Games for Gaining 
Gospel Knowledge. 



Are You 

Mormons 

Ignoramuses'? 

by STEPHEN G. MORGAN 

With A Foreword by 
Bernard P. Brockbank 

Available at your local book- 
store or order from Clan 
Caledonian, 2236 So. 22nd 
East, Salt Lake City, Utah. 



These Times 

(Continued from page 1069) 

of producing. Since we are all in 
the cabin together, we also have 
to trust the cooks who prepared 
our meal, the stewardess who serves 
it, and the passenger across the 
aisle. Will they behave and per- 
form better if we trust them, give 
them our confidence? 

Life on the planet is more com- 
plicated than being aboard the jet- 
liner. Its possibilities are virtually 
infinite. But the case of the inter- 
dependence of those in the jet 
cabin, to me at least, suggests a 
sound thought for inventory time, 
for Christmas, and for the new 



year. We must trust in God. We 
must place trust in our fellowmen, 
in order to reap the most and the 
best from life. 

God will reward our trust. If 
confidence in our fellowmen is 
misplaced, the fault lies with those 
who fail in maintaining the trust, 
not with those who pledged faith 
and goodwill. Confidences will be 
betrayed, trusts misplaced. But 
not to grant or place them would 
certainly make the world gloomier. 
There would be less chance for 
improvement in these times. That 
which is of God, we are told, is 
light. Why not help that light 
grow brighter and brighter "until 
the perfect day." 



THE 
SPOKEN 
WORD i 



"CHARACTER IS A VICTORY 



RICHARD L. EVANS 

From Ivor Griffith comes a short, strong sentence that says much and 
suggests much more: "Character," he said, "is a victory, not a gift." 1 
For the decisions by which we shape ourselves we need self-control, 
self-discipline, and an honest searching of ourselves. Often we pamper 
our weaknesses, indulge our appetites, and excuse ourselves for our 
failings. But who can decide for us to be better if we don't decide 
for ourselves? Who can lift us beyond our own effort? Who can 
know us as well as we know ourselves? The desire, the intent, the effort 
is up to us, and a half-hearted, compromising performance is not enough. 
Rationalization, self-justification, self-indulgence cannot lead to sustained 
success. "It is no use saying 'we are doing our best.' " said Winston 
Churchill. "You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." 
And this isn't a matter of a single decision. It isn't a matter of a once- 
and-for-all effort. It is a matter of consistency in many decisions— of 
the little things and the large things, almost every hour and instant. 
"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds," 2 said 
George Eliot. "Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free 
choices of good and evil we have made through life." 3 "You cannot 
dream yourself into a character," said James A. Froude. "You must 
hammer and forge one for yourself." 1 And one of the greatest lessons 
to teach our children is the certainty of the sequence of causes and 
consequences and our own responsibility for what we are as compared 
with what we can become. "Some day, in years to come," said Phillips 
Brooks, "you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling 
under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, 
in these quiet weeks [in these quiet moments]. Now it is being decided 
whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall 
miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except 
by a steady, long continued process." "Character is a victory, not a 
gift"— a very great victory. 

Uvor Griffith, copyright November 1965 by Post Script. 

2 George Eliot, Adam Bede, ch. 29. 

"Cunningham Geikie (1826-1906), Scot, clergy. 

4 James A. Froude, quoted in New Dictionary of Thoughts. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System October 30, 1966. Copyright 1966. 



1088 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



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October 1966 



136th Semiannual 

GENERAL 
CONFERENCE 






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1 



A Divine Plan 
for Finding Security 
and Peace of Mind 

President David 0. McKay 



•We are grateful for the blessings of 
the Lord to his Church in all the 
world and for the assurance of his 
divine guidance and inspiration. With 
deep gratitude we acknowledge his 
nearness and his goodness. It is a 
source of real encouragement to con- 
template the loyalty and energetic 



efforts of the members of the Church 
who are contributing of their time and 
their means to building up the king- 
dom of God on earth. There is a gen- 
eral response, as the figures and reports 
of the Church indicate, on the part of 
the people of the Church everywhere. 
The responsibilities they carry, the 
undertakings that they adopt and em- 
ploy to raise their share of the cost of 
our houses of worship are most re- 
markable. 

I love life! I think it is a joy to live 
in this age. Every morning, as I view 
from my window the mountains to the 
east and greet the sun as it ushers in 
these unexcelled autumn days, I feel 
the joy and privilege of life and appre- 
ciate God's goodness. I appreciate and 



realize the accomplishments, to a cer- 
tain degree, of this wonderful atomic 
age in which we are living. Scientific 
discoveries of today stagger the imag- 
ination. Nearly every day we read of 
almost unbelievable accomplishments. 
The age of the atom has only begun, 
and no one knows what exciting de- 
velopments may yet unfold when the 
atomic research now in progress is 
completed. Its potential for good far 
outweighs its potential for destruction. 
The discoveries and inventions of this 
age are unequaled by any previous 
period in the world's history, dis- 
coveries latent with such potent power, 
either for the blessing or the destruc- 
tion of human beings, as to make man's 
responsibility in controlling them the 



most gigantic ever placed in human 
hands. 

Yes, it is a glorious age in which we 
live, but no thinking man will doubt 
that this age is fraught with limitless 
perils, as well as untold possibilities. 
There are causes for real apprehension 
over world conditions. As we study 
and learn of the increase in crime and 
disrespect for law and order that exist 
right here in our own country, we be- 
come alarmed. 

Just the other day, I read an edi- 
torial in the Deseret News giving the 
information that an estimated six mil- 
lion Americans suffer from alcoholism. 
The Public Health Service ranks alco- 
holism as the fourth major public 
health problem in the United States. 
At the moment Utah, fortunately, con- 
tributes less than its share to this 
problem. Contrary to what many 
people think, Utah ranks forty-sixth 
from the top among the 50 states 
in the number of alcoholics it has in 
proportion to the total population. 
Furthermore, it is the only state in 
which per capita consumption of 
alcohol, as well as the alcoholism rate, 
has consistently decreased for several 
years. Let us hope that Utah will 
not adopt the proposed legislation for 
"liquor by the drink" and thereby 
entice more people to drink in more 
places more of the time. As the edi- 
torial points out, our state, with our 
traditions and standards, should be 
doing just the opposite. Liquor by the 
drink, as a recent study of the experi- 
ence in Iowa shows, only increases 
drinking and the attendant evils of 
alcoholism. The impaired morals, 
ruined health, broken homes, and in- 
creased traffic deaths that result from 
drinking are well known by all of us. 

It is because of these threatening- 
dangers that the world should become 
anchored in the eternal truths of Jesus 
Christ and realize that there are eter- 
nal verities in this changing world. 

Dr. Charles Foster Kent, comment- 
ing upon the "chaotic state" of our 
civilized world, says: 

"Political organizations and ideals 
that have both fortified and handi- 
capped us have been thrown into the 
discard. Long accepted social theories 
have suddenly been rejected, and new 
ones are being adopted. Many of the 
moral standards of our Fathers are 
being set aside in theory as well as 
in practice. The rising generation has 
no fear and little respect for Elders. . . . 
Religious dogmas, long regarded as 
the corner stones of religion and the 
Church, are being disproved, or sup- 
planted." 

Efforts are being made to deprive 
man of his free agency, to steal from 
the individual his liberty; and we must 
never forget that next to life itself, 
free agency is the greatest gift of God 
to man. 

The two most important documents 



affecting the destiny of America are 
the Declaration of Independence and 
the Constitution of the United States. 
Both of these inspired, immortal papers 
relate primarily to the freedom of the 
individual. Founded upon that prin- 
ciple of free enterprise fostered by these 
documents, the United States of Amer- 
ica, in less than two centuries, has 
achieved a greatness that far exceeds 
that of any other country in the world. 
The deep concern of every loyal citizen 
regarding the threatened loss of our 
freedom has been well expressed by 
Fred G. Clark, who is chairman of 
the American Economic Foundation, 
New York City. In a speech given 
over a decade ago, he expressed the 
fear that the "code of the people" is 
replacing the "code of God." His 
words so impressed me that I quoted 
them in an address delivered in 1952. 
He declared that "something is wrong 
with America. 

"At this high moment of history 
when the task of world leadership has 
been thrust upon us, we stand con- 
fused, reluctant, and hesitant. . . . 

"We are no longer certain what we 
stand for, and this, I believe, is because 
we have forgotten the circumstances 
surrounding the birth of our na- 
tion. . . . 

"For decades it has been popular in 
America for the cynical intellectuals to 
sneer and scoff at what we call the 
traditions of Americanism. 

"The instruments of this sabotage 
were words and thoughts — plausible 
half-truths, sly appeals to that spark 
of larceny that lurks in every human 
heart, subtle suggestions of an atheistic 
nature, and the careful nurturing of a 
patronizing attitude toward anything 
America has held to be fine and sacred. 

"The people who planted these 
words and thoughts may have been 
either stupid or vicious, fools or foreign 
agents, smart-alecs or smart organizers. 

"What they were does not now mat- 
ter. The thing that does matter is to 
counteract what they have done. 

"Everybody in every position of 
leadership has to get into this act be- 
cause the damage has affected every 
phase of our life. 

"The places in which this sabotage 
occurred were the schools, the churches, 
the Communist-dominated labor halls, 
the lecture platforms, the motion 
pictures, the stage, the pages of our 
newspapers and magazines, and the 
radio. Every means of communication 
has been utilized against us. . . . 

"The man (or nation), who has a 
plan — a way of life — in which he be- 
lieves, has mental security. 

"To destroy this security, one must 
destroy that man's faith in his plan. . . . 

"[It is a] reliance on a code of life 
which, if held in common with one's 
fellow men, brings peace of mind, 
develops the abilities of the group. . . . 

"The degree to which the American 



code of life has been weakened can 
best be demonstrated by simply calling 
attention to the degree to which the 
foundation of that code has been 
weakened. . . . 

"That foundation (and of this there 
cannot be the slightest shadow of a 
doubt) is made up of the Ten Com- 
mandments and the Golden Rule. 

"Within this moral code, we have 
a complete way of life. 

"Acceptance of these precepts takes 
care of every phase of human life — 
spiritual, political, social, and eco- 
nomic. . . . 

"America was a nation of people who 
had faith in their political and eco- 
nomic systems because they had faith 
in God, and had built those systems 
around the teachings of God. 

"Every collectivist from Karl Marx 
to [the present leader] has agreed that 
faith in God must be destroyed before 
socialism can take over. 

"Therefore, it was obvious that the 
problem of sabotaging America's faith 
in America was the problem of trans- 
ferring the people's faith in God to 
faith in the State. 

"That thing called morality in poli- 
tics, business, and private contracts, 
had to be broken down. 

"To an increasing extent the people 
have come to look upon morality as an 
old-fashioned superstition. 

"Religion has for many church 
members become a safe way of dying 
rather than a good way of living." 
(From "The Code of the People Is 
Replacing the Code of God," by Fred 
G Clark.) 

We all know that these threatening 
upsets in national standards have in- 
creased since that speech was given. 
We know, also, that there has been an 
alarming increase in the abandoning 
of the ideals that constitute the foun- 
dation of the Constitution of the 
United States and of the American 
home, and you will agree with me that 
there is real cause for apprehension. 

At this very moment while we are 
here worshipping, war is raging and 
blasting out the lives of young men, 
old men, women, and children in 
Viet Nam. The standards of the 
home, even the criteria for the rearing 
of children, have broken down. 

J. William Hudson, formerly pro- 
fessor of philosophy at the University 
of Missouri, states: "The leisure occu- 
pations of youth, always symptomatic 
in any age, are not only unguidedly 
and frankly hedonistic, but have gone 
across the borders of what was once 
considered decorous, not because of a 
new and liberalizing moral standard, 
as we sometimes pretended, but be- 
cause of the lack of any. The popu- 
larity of certain recent dances, formerly 
forbidden even in the 'red-light' dis- 
tricts, is typical. So is much of our 
periodical reading matter, and any 
number of 'movie' plays, over the edge 



1092 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



of the decadently erotic, with a censor- 
ship that does not censor because of 
moral and financial doubt." 

He also mentions the fact that "dis- 
honesty is permeating public and 
private life alike, tainting the admin- 
istration of justice, tainting our legis- 
lative halls, tainting the conduct of 
private business, polluting at times 
even the church itself." 

He goes on to assert that "if there 
is to be social and political regenera- 
tion in our Republic and in the rest 
of the world, it must be by tremendous 
regeneration of moral ideals." 

What shall we do about all this? 

When Paul was a prisoner in Rome, 
he sent a letter to Timothy, saying in 
substance: 

"Preach the word; be instant in 
season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, 
exhort with all longsuffering and 
doctrine. 

"For the time will come when they 
will not endure sound doctrine; but 
after their own lusts shall they heap 
to themselves teachers, having itching- 
ears; 

"And they shall turn away their 
ears from the truth, and shall be 
turned unto fables." (2 Tim. 4:2-4.) 

It is just as important today as 
when Paul wrote that farewell message 
to Timothy that officers and teachers 
and members everywhere "preach the 
word; be instant [that is, to be eager, 
earnest] in season, [and] out of 
season." 

Today, in the midst of the world's 
perplexity, there should be no question 
in the mind of any true Latter-day 
Saint as to what we shall preach. The 
answer is as clear as the noonday sun 
in a cloudless sky. 

In the year 1830, there was given to 
the people of this land and the world 
a divine plan whereby individuals can 
find security and peace of mind and 
live in harmonious accord with their 
fellow beings. In all man's theories 
and experiments since history began, 
human intelligence has never devised 
a system which, when applied to the 
needs of humanity, can even approach 
this plan in effectiveness. 

In simple words, then, this is the 
word that we should preach — the 
gospel plan of salvation. 

The founders of this great republic 
had faith in the economic and political 
welfare of this country because they 
had faith in God. Today it is not 
uncommon to note an apologetic atti- 
tude on the part of men when they 
refer to the need of God's governing 
in the affairs of men. Indeed, as has 
already been pointed out, success of 
Communism depends largely upon the 
substitution of belief in God by belief 
in the supremacy of the state. 

But I say to you, preach in season 
and out of season belief in God the 
Eternal Father, in his Son Jesus Christ, 
and in the Holy Ghost. 




Proclaim that fundamental in the 
gospel plan is the sacredness of the 
individual; that God's work and glory 
is "to bring to pass the immortality 
and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39.) 

Under this concept, it is a great 
imposition, if indeed not a crime, for 
any government, any labor union, or 
any other organization to deny a man 
the right to speak, to worship, and to 
work. 

The least child was sacred to Jesus. 
". . . it is not the will of your Father 
which is in heaven, that one of these 
little ones should perish." (Matt. 
18:14.) What would that simple truth 
mean in this world? "Inasmuch as ye 
have done it unto one of the least of 
these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me." (Matt. 25:40.) And in this 
modern day, he said, "Remember the 
worth of souls is great. . . ." (D&C 
18:10.) 

A proper conception of this divine 
principle would change the attitude 
of the world to the benefit and happi- 
ness of all human beings. It would 
bring into active operation the Golden 
Rule: "Do unto others as you would 
have others do unto you." (See Matt. 
7:12.) What a different world this 
would be if men would accumulate 
wealth, for example, not as an end, 
"but as a means of blessing human 
beings and improving human relations. 

Declare the truth that man has the 
inherent power to do right or to do 
wrong. In this he has his free agency 
to choose the right and obtain salva- 
tion, or he may choose to do evil and 
commit abominations. 

Preach that the plan of salvation 
involves the belief that governments 
were instituted of God for the benefit 
of man. Man was not born for the 



benefit of the state. Preach that no 
government can exist in peace, and I 
quote from the Doctrine and Cove- 
nants, "except such laws are framed 
and held inviolate as will secure to 
each individual the free exercise of 
conscience, the right and control of 
property, and the protection of life." 
(D&C 134:2.) 

Proclaim the necessity of honesty 
and loyalty, doing an honest day's 
work for an honest day's pay. Preach 
that honesty in government is essential 
to the perpetuation and stability of our 
government as it is necessary to the 
stability of character in the individual. 
"We believe in being honest, true, 
chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in 
doing good to all men; ... If there is 
anything virtuous, lovely, or of good 
report, or praiseworthy, we seek after 
these things." (13th Article of Faith.) 

Proclaim that God lives, and that 
his Beloved Son is the Redeemer and 
Savior of mankind; that he stands at 
the head of his Church that bears 
his name; that he guides and inspires 
those who are authorized to represent 
him here on earth, authorized by the 
priesthood when heavenly messengers 
bestowed upon the Prophet Joseph 
Smith and others associated with him 
divine authority. 

Preach that the responsibility of de- 
claring this plan of life, this way of 
life, this plan of salvation, rests upon 
the entire membership of the Church, 
but most particularly upon those who 
have been ordained to the priesthood 
and who have been called as leaders 
and servants of the people. 

These eternal verities are as appli- 
cable in the year 1966 as they were 
when Jesus first promulgated them, 
and they will remain fundamental and 



DECEMBER 1966 



1093 



essential in man's progress and happi- 
ness as long as life and being last. 

In the questioning days of early 
boyhood, I first felt a kinship with 
Christ, our Lord and Savior. I know 
his love and his divine guidance. He 
is the sinless Son of man. "He is the 
first and the last . . . and [is] alive 
for evermore." (See Rev. 1:18.) Only 
by obedience to his teachings can man 
find happiness and peace. Our Father 
is a kind and loving Heavenly Father 



who is as ready and eager today as 
ever to bless and to guide all his 
children who will sincerely seek him, 
and I bear you witness to that truth. 
God help us all to walk in the light 
as he is in the light, thereby avoiding 
the unhappiness, sinfulness, and mis- 
ery of a misguided world, and find 
joy and peace and beauteous life here 
in this probation and in the life to 
come, I humbly pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Marriage, the Family, and the Home 



President Hugh B. Brown 
Of the First Presidency 



• An editorial in the Church News 
section of the Deseret News last night 
suggested a theme for this morning. It 
refers to the home and the family, 
where parents and children live 
together in very intimate relationship, 
where they work and play together, sing 
and pray together, and occasionally 
weep together in one another's arms. 

I quote from the editorial: 

"A stabilized home, in which re- 
ligious instruction forms a major part, 
is the only real answer to juvenile 
delinquency. 

"This is the consensus of opinion of 
scholars who have made a serious study 
of the causes and prevention of de- 
linquency. 

"These scholars say that parents and 
children alike must be taught how to 
live together as a family: their home 
must be 'God-centered,' and must be 
associated with a Church which pro- 
vides an uplifting, character-building 
program for youth." 

When God created or organized the 
heavens and the earth in accordance 
with eternal law, he placed man upon 
the earth. Noting that it was not good 
for man to be alone, he provided a 
helpmeet for him. In Genesis 2:23-24 
we read, "And Adam said, This is now 
bone of my bones, and flesh of my 
flesh: she shall be called Woman, . . . 

"Therefore shall a man leave his 
father and his mother, and shall cleave 
unto his wife. . . ." 

Thus it is seen that God instituted 
marriage in the very beginning. He 
made man, male and female, in his 
own image and likeness and designed 
that they should be united together 
in sacred bonds of marriage and de- 
clared that one is not perfect without 
the other. 

Marriage, the family, and the home 
are among the most important sub- 



jects of our whole theological doctrine, 
and as the family is the basic and 
fundamental unit of the Church and 
of society, its preservation and its 
righteous needs should take precedence 
over all other interests. 

A family may be defined as a group 
of people of various ages, united by 
agreement and covenant, living to- 
gether in the most intimate relation- 
ship. In such a society children learn 
that certain things are right and others 
are wrong. They grow from stage to 
stage of confidence, skill, affection, 
understanding, and responsibility. In 
other words, they build character. A 
family is a project in group living 
in which the thing to do and the 
thing not to do are absorbed through 
precept, example, and practice. 

The purpose of this life, and indeed 
the purpose of existence, is that man 
might grow into greater likeness of 
his Maker. We do not derogate from 
the Creator any of the attributes that 
orthodox Christianity accords him. 
Rather, we worship him as a personal 
God who is all powerful, all knowing, 
and, in fact, perfect, our Heavenly 
Father. We point out, moreover, that 
we, as his children, are the only crea- 
tions of the Father to be blessed with 
his image. It follows that under the 
divine law of "like begets like," our 
progress through the eternities may be 
limitless. We take seriously and 
literally the injunction of the Savior 
to be perfect even as our Father in 
heaven is perfect. The essential insti- 
tution to obtain this perfection, which 
is necessary to enable us to re-enter 
our Father's presence and be happy 
there, is the eternal family unit. 

Parents are charged with the re- 
sponsibility to teach the undoubted 
truth that there is no principle more 
widely seen in all nature and more 



sternly enforced, from the infinitesimal 
electron to the incomprehensible gal- 
axies in outer space, than this: "Not 
only liberty, but law prevails." 

The words freedom and rights have a 
magic sound in the ears of young- 
people, but sometimes they translate 
them into self-indulgence and self- 
gratification. The time to start putting 
them into focus is before the impact of 
dawning personality has created habits 
in the children that will have to be 
vanquished someday either by self- 
discipline or by the discipline of the 
law. 

The Chief Justice of the Ontario 
(Canada) Supreme Court said recently 
that the violent juvenile crimes do not 
reflect on the great body of young 
people, but they do reflect on the 
manner in which the adult population 
is discharging its responsibility. The 
warden of one of our largest prisons 
said, "This institution is filled with 
spoiled children." 

I do not wish to speak today so much 
on juvenile delinquency as I want 
to talk to those primarily responsible 
for it. The group that is creating most 
of our trouble is, for the most part, a 
product of undisciplined homes and 
irresponsible parents. The trouble be- 
gins in the home, and ultimately it 
will have to be corrected in the home. 
Obviously, it is better to prevent the 
problem of delinquency from arising 
rather than to invoke the law to cure 
its effects. 

I quote from a recent letter sent out 
by the Royal Bank of Canada discuss- 
ing this important subject: 

"Today's young people have lived 
their lives from infancy in a world of 
turmoil. Uncertainties crowd upon 
them as they see adults bent upon 
violence and destruction. 

"What we call civilization has 
moved so fast that the structure and 
instincts of man have not kept up. 
Ideological battles are also raging in 
the political world. Men and women, 
and boys and girls, must still face the 
profoundly individual issues of life 
and the vital interpersonal relationship 
of parent and child." 

Young people need rules to guide 
them and standards by which to judge 
themselves. The home takes its right- 
ful and eminent place in preparing 
children for life when basic principles 
are quietly but firmly announced and 
lived up to. The final test is not how 
amenable young people are to com- 
pulsion of the law, but how far they 
can be taught to obey self-imposed law 
in the interest of family solidarity. 

The time has come to cease empha- 
sizing the gadgets of every-day living 
and to set over against them the im- 
perishable qualities of honesty, in- 
tegrity, unselfishness, purity of thought 
and action, and respect for law. 

To the child, with his short perspec- 
tive, life is all foreground, composed 



1094 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



of persons who feed, coddle, chastise, 
and sometimes abandon him. These 
people are responsible not only for 
immediate care but for all the years of 
his life, because they help build his 
personality at the same time they nour- 
ish and protect his body. In a good 
family the child grows up in an at- 
mosphere of mutual respect. He 
participates in wholesome, unselfish, 
democratic practices; and in the nature 
of things, he will project all these into 
his wider adult life. 

The child does not want a do-as- 
you-please, permissive world; it makes 
him confused and unhappy. He wants 
a stable, reliable wall around him, 
defining his world, giving him a large 
free area, but telling him exactly how 
far he can go. 

This wall can be built of such things 
as respect for the property rights of 
others, respect for elders, observance of 
the conventions that lubricate social 
life. If children are not being taught 
these things, they are being handi- 
capped. As R. P. Smith said, "The 
reason these kids are getting into 
trouble with cops is because cops are 
the first people they meet who say 
and mean it 'y° u can't do that.' " It 
goes without saying that parents who 
seek respect for their precepts must, 
as the principle of the law of equity 
puts it, "come with clean hands." 
Children quickly detect insincerity. 

In the transmission of ideas and of 
culture, in the building of character 
and the qualities needed in this chang- 
ing world, the family of today must 
be the burden bearer and the path 
breaker. It recognizes children as being 
more important than things, ideas as 
more precious than gadgets, and per- 
sonal worth the touchstone by which 
all other values are tested. 

Parents of today should give their 
children some memories to guide 
them — memories of love in family life 
in which justice was upheld, affection 
unstintingly given, discipline tenderly 
but firmly explained, and fine example 
habitually displayed. We do not be- 
lieve that self-discipline is best 
developed in a monastic life, in a 
desert, or in a cave, but rather in the 
home. All the virtues toward which 
we are striving are only really ob- 
tainable within society and are best 
obtainable within the building blocks 
of that society — that is, within the 
family unit. 

The Lord instructed Adam as to the 
basic purpose of marriage. As we read 
in Genesis, "So God created man in 
his own image, in the image of God 
created he him; male and female cre- 
ated he them. 

"And God blessed them, and God 
said unto them, Be fruitful, and mul- 
tiply, and replenish the earth, and 
subdue it." (Gen. 1:27-28.) 

Marriage was intended from the be- 
ginning to be eternal. This is evi- 



denced by the fact that the first known 
form of human government started 
with Adam and Eve, who, according 
to the scriptures, were united by God 
himself. This was before there was 
any death; therefore, the words "until 
death do you part" would have been 
meaningless. After the Fall they 
added children to their family, and 
together they comprised an eternal 
unit. 

The family organization is patri- 
archal in nature and is patterned after 
the one in heaven itself, as referred 
to by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 
3:14-15: "For this cause I bow my 
knees unto the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, 

"Of whom the whole family in 
heaven and earth is named." 

The very essence of divine govern- 
ment is fatherhood and the recognition 
of the family relationship. The Church 
itself exists to exalt the family, and 
the family concept is one of the major 
and most important of the whole 
theological doctrine. In fact, our very 
concept of heaven itself is the projec- 
tion of the home into eternity. Salva- 
tion, then, is essentially a family 
affair, and full participation in the 
plan of salvation can be had only in 
family units. 

One of the first commandments 
given to Adam and Eve was to multi- 
ply and replenish the earth and 
subdue it. This injunction has never 
been revoked. When the father and 
mother and children are sealed together 
by the same divine authority as was 
given to Peter, celestial marriage com- 
mences an eternal family. Christ said 
to Peter: "And I will give unto thee 
the keys of the kingdom of heaven: 
and whatsoever thou shalt bind on 
earth shall be bound in heaven; and 
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth 
shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 
16:19.) All who are faithful to the 
teachings of the gospel will continue 
as a family into the highest degree 
of the celestial kingdom and will be 
crowned with immortality, eternal 
life, and eternal increase. 

President Lorenzo Snow gave an 
intimation of what eternal marriage 
meant: "A man and a woman in the 
other life, having celestial bodies, free 
from sickness and disease, glorified 
and beautified beyond description, 
standing in the midst of their posterity, 
governing and controlling them, ad- 
ministering life, exaltation and glory, 
world without end." And President 
Joseph F. Smith told us, "The very 
foundation of the Kingdom of God, of 
righteousness, of progress, of develop- 
ment, of eternal life, and eternal in- 
crease in the Kingdom of God is laid 
in the divinely ordained home." 

The leaders of the Church have, 
from the beginning, taught faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and we acknowledge 
him as our Savior and Redeemer. It is 



our duty to teach this to our children — 
teach them to respect their neighbors, 
their seniors, their teachers; teach them 
to respect old age, to venerate their 
parents, and to help all who are help- 
less and needy; teach them to honor 
all who preside over them in church 
or civic government; teach them to 
honor the laws of God and be loyal 
to their country, loyal to principles 
of righteousness; and, because they are 
children of God, teach them to be 
loyal to the royal spirit that is in 
them. 

The action and reaction of family 
life will rub off from our personalities 
those abrasive and anti-social char- 
acteristics that hinder our functioning 
as individuals in society. Nowhere 
else can such intimate and close asso- 
ciation be had. Certainly this polish- 
ing process is best accomplished in the 
crucible of family life. 

President Lyndon B. Johnson, speak- 
ing at Howard University last year, 
warned us that at the root of much 
of the social malaise that is gripping 
our country is the breakdown of the 
family unit among important groups 
within our nation. 

We repeat, marriage and the family 
are the basic and fundamental units of 
our society. Dr. Paul C. Glick, the 
census bureau's expert on marriage, 
says: "The more I study the subject, 
the more apparent it becomes that 
marriage is regarded as — and is — the 
happiest, healthiest, and most desirable 
state of human existence. We live 
longer and are healthier if we are 
married. Marriage is the central fact 
of our lives." 

But we must insure that this way of 
life contains the basic requirements 
and fulfills the fundamental purposes 
of that family life if it is to continue 
throughout the eternities. Within the 
family the parents may find an inspir- 
ing challenge to magnificent accom- 
plishment and contribution: that is, to 
mold an immortal spirit, to teach 
eternal precepts, and to instill disci- 
pline and obedience in the mind of 
a child. Dr. Adam S. Bennion pointed 
out: "The family is by far the most 
important single institution in our 
commonwealth, and happy indeed is 
the man, who, when he closes his 
desk at night, has before him the 
gladsome picture of the sparkling 
family group with which he shortly 
will have the evening meal. Family 
bonds are gilt-edged investments. If 
you wish to check me on this, ask the 
man who owns them." 

Laws and customs represent only the 
external or social aspects of marriage. 
These externals do not reach the in- 
wardness and depth of the problem 
that the individual person confronts 
upon the advent of his marriage. From 
the great poems, novels, plays, and 
books of history and biography, we 
find the psychological and emotional 



DECEMBER 1966 



1095 



aspects of marriage have been discussed 
in all ages. From these and thousands 
of case histories, we are impressed by 
the fact that marriage is at all times, 
in every culture and under the widest 
variety of circumstances, one of the 
supreme tests of human character. 

Here we are faced with a considera- 
tion of the relation of men and women 
in and out of marriage, and the rela- 
tion of parents and children when 
crises are met. Tensions and conflicts 
between love and duty, between rea- 
son and passion, from which no 
individual can entirely escape, are 
among the most serious of the prob- 
lems that all must confront. This is 
a subject that touches every man, 
woman, and child, both psycholog- 
ically and morally. Sometimes it is 
tragic, but often it is happy and 
blessed. Here is an opportunity for 
men and women everywhere to mea- 
sure up to one of the greatest responsi- 
bilities of life. 

It is hoped that this brief and sketchy 
outline may call to the attention of 
members of the Church their responsi- 
bilities as members of family units, in 
which they have opportunity to coop- 



erate in the great and continuing work 
of our Heavenly Father. It is hoped 
also that our friends who are attend- 
ing this conference in person or by 
means of radio and television may get 
a clearer outline of the Church's 
doctrine with respect to the home and 
the eternity of the marriage covenant 
that is so fundamentally a part of the 
restored gospel. 

Potentially, man is more precious 
in the sight of God than all the 
planets and suns of space. Incompre- 
hensibly grand as are the physical 
creations of the earth and space, they 
have been brought into existence as a 
means to an end; they are the handi- 
work of God; man is his son. The 
supreme purpose of creation is, in his 
own words, "to bring to pass the 
immortality and eternal life of man." 
(Moses 1:39.) 

Thus we emphasize the dignity of 
the individual, his supreme importance 
in the family unit and in society, his 
potential unfolding into a Godlike 
status, and eventually his exaltation 
in the celestial kingdom. We pray for 
divine guidance to this end in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



The Gospel Our Bulwark 

President N. Eldon Tanner 
Of the First Presidency 



• President McKay, my beloved 
brothers and sisters, it is a privilege 
indeed to be here and to participate 
with you in this great conference where 
we have felt the Spirit of the Lord, 
where we have heard and will hear 
testimonies of those who have been 
chosen to lead and direct the work of 
the Lord in these, the latter days. We 
have been built up in our faith and 
in our determination to live lives in 
keeping with the teachings of our Lord 
and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

It is a great blessing to be permitted 
to associate so closely with these men 
who know and bear testimony, by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, that God 
lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that 
God so loved the world that he gave 
his Only Begotten Son that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish 
but have everlasting life. These men 
love the Lord with all their heart, 
mind, and strength, and dedicate them- 
selves entirely to the service of their 
fellowmen and to the building up of 
the kingdom of God on the earth. 

I do not suggest that these or any 
human beings are without fault, but it 



must be clear to all the world that 
men who live righteous lives and lose 
themselves in the service of the Lord 
meet the problems of the world with 
greater serenity and assurance. 

I should like to acknowledge the 
presence of, and express my apprecia- 
tion to, these dedicated stake presiden- 
cies, bishoprics, mission presidents, 
missionaries, officers and teachers in 
the priesthood quorums and auxiliary 
organizations, and all others who are 
prepared to sacrifice and spend their 
time in furthering the cause of truth 
and righteousness throughout the 
world. 

We meet in these general confer- 
ences of the Church for the purpose of 
being taught the principles of the gos- 
pel, instructed in our duties, and 
encouraged and built up generally, 
and to reason together and strengthen 
one another. I sincerely pray that the 
Spirit and the blessings of the Lord 
will attend me and all of us at this 
time. 

It is trite but true to say that never 
before in the history of the world have 
we or our young people been faced 



with more evil, serious problems, and 
challenges than we are today. Wher- 
ever you go, and regardless of whatever 
news media you pick up or listen to, 
or whatever company you may be in, 
even as we have listened to our 
speakers in this conference, we hear 
discussed and have forced upon our 
minds the importance of such ques- 
tions as divorce and family disinte- 
gration, new morality, new freedom, 
new security, the "God is dead" 
theory, war and strife, riots, murders, 
burglaries, and all kinds of crime and 
deception. 

It is most important that we be ac- 
quainted with the evils of the day 
and realize how insidious they are 
and accept our responsibility to guard 
against these evils. We should realize 
that the new morality is nothing more 
than the old immorality, that the new 
freedom is nothing more than dis- 
respect for law and the rights of others 
and will lead to anarchy. The new 
security gives one the idea that the 
world owes him a living, and destroys 
individual initiative and infringes on 
his liberty and freedom. 

I am convinced, my brothers and 
sisters, that the only way to guard 
successfully against these evils is to 
accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, which 
offers not only a better way of life 
but the solution to these and all other 
problems facing us today. In fact, 
we would have no more war or strife 
or any of the evils that I have enumer- 
ated if the world would accept God as 
the Creator of the world and Jesus 
Christ as its Savior. 

We as leaders and as members of 
the Church have a heavy responsibility 
to help our youth to know and under- 
stand that the Bible and the Book of 
Mormon, which were written on op- 
posite sides of the world, are records 
of God's dealings with his people on 
these two hemispheres. They are not 
fairy tales, but testimonies of many 
righteous men whose integrity cannot 
be questioned. These testimonies have 
been handed down to us by the 
prophets from Adam to the present day. 
These records show that in every dis- 
pensation those who accepted the word 
of God and kept his commandments 
prospered and were happy, success- 
ful, and blessed, while those who 
denied God and Jesus Christ and re- 
fused to accept the gospel have suffered 
heartaches, defeat, Godless dictatorship, 
and general anarchy. 

We all know the story of Moses 
and the Israelites. We know that 
when they followed the instructions of 
God and kept his commandments, 
they were blessed and preserved from 
their enemies, and how quickly they 
were left to the buffeting of Satan 
when they turned away from and ig- 
nored God and his teachings. 

Another story with which we are all 
familiar is that of David and Goliath, 



1096 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



how Goliath, that powerful leader of 
the Philistines, was slain by David 
with his sling. We should remind 
our youth of the words of these two 
men that show why David was suc- 
cessful and Goliath slain. David kept 
the commandments of God and had 
complete faith in his power. Listen 
to the boastful words of Goliath and to 
David's humble, but confident, re- 
sponse. 

"And the Philistine said to David, 
Gome to me, and I will give thy flesh 
unto the fowls of the air, and to the 
beasts of the field. 

"Then said David to the Philistine, 
Thou comest to me with a sword, and 
with a spear, and with a shield: but 
I come to thee in the name of the 
Lord of hosts, the God of the armies 
of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 

"This day will the Lord deliver thee 
into mine hand. . . ." (1 Sam. 17:44- 
46.) 

As a result, Goliath and the Philis- 
tines were defeated, and the Israelites 
were saved by the power of God. The 
scriptures are replete with records of 
individuals and nations who suc- 
ceeded or failed as a result of their 
faithfulness or disobedience. 

Also, we should appreciate and help 
our young people to understand that 
the greatest leaders of recorded history, 
and of today, in industry and govern- 
ment, have always believed in God. 

George Washington, in his first 
inaugural address, said: "It would be 
peculiarly improper to omit in this 
official act, my fervent supplications to 
the Almighty Being who rules over the 
universe. . . ." And in his famous 
farewell address he said: "Of all the 
dispositions and habits which lead to 
political prosperity, religion and moral- 
ity are indispensable supports." 

Abraham Lincoln, in that oft- 
repeated statement, said: "Without the 
assistance of that Divine Being, ... I 
cannot succeed. With that assistance 
I cannot fail. . . ." 

It is very interesting and significant 
to know, as pointed out so well by 
Wendell J. Ashton in his article in the 
October Instructor, that Columbus had 
great faith in God. This famous ex- 
plorer in his report to the king and 
queen of Spain wrote near the end of 
his letter: 

"And the eternal God, Our Lord, 
gives to all who walk in his way vic- 
tory over things which appear impos- 
sible, and this [voyage] was notably 
one." 

Columbus concluded his letter with 
the suggestions that "all Christendom 
ought to feel joyful and make great 
celebrations and give solemn thanks" 
for the privilege of bringing Christ's 
message to the peoples of these new- 
found lands. Because of his faith and 
courage he was able to withstand the 
mutinies and succeed in his mission. 
(The Instructor, October 1966.) 



One of our great industrialists, 
John D. Rockefeller, Jr., included in 
his creed under the heading "I 
Believe": 

"I believe in an all-wise and all- 
loving God, . . . and that the individ- 
ual's highest fulfillment, greatest 
happiness, and widest usefulness are 
to be found in living in harmony with 
his will. 

"I believe that love is the greatest 
thing in the world; that it alone can 
overcome hate; that right can and will 
triumph over might." 

Many who argue that Christianity 
has failed excuse themselves for their 
actions by saying that men who pro- 
fess God and Jesus Christ are hypo- 
crites and do not live the teachings 
that they profess. Too often men waste 
their time questioning even the exis- 
tence of God instead of accepting his 
teachings and enjoying his blessings. 

It is something like those who try 
to prove that Shakespeare never lived, 
that he was not the author of the 
Shakespearian plays, some of the 
choicest of all literature. While they 
waste their time arguing, others are 
enjoying the beauty and philosophy of 
his works. 

Christ's teachings, which are so im- 
portant to our happiness, security, and 
exaltation, may be summed up in the 
Ten Commandments, the Sermon on 
the Mount, Christ's answer to the 
lawyer as to which is the great com- 
mandment in the law, and the Articles 
of Faith as given by Joseph Smith. 

Some of the Ten Commandments 
are: 

"Thou shalt have no other gods 
before me. 

"Remember the Sabbath day to keep 
it holy. 

"Honour thy father and thy mother. 

"Thou shalt not kill. 

"Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

"Thou shalt not steal. 

"Thou shalt not bear false witness 
against thy neighbour." (See Exod. 
20.) 

No one will argue that the keeping 
of these commandments would not 
make for a better and happier indi- 
vidual or contribute to a happy and 
spiritual home, a better community, 
and a better world in which to live. 
You are familiar with the old Chinese 
proverb that says: 

"If there is righteousness in the heart 
there will be beauty in the character; 

"If there is beauty in the character 
there will be harmony in the home; 

"If there is harmony in the home 
there will be order in the nation; 

"If there is order in the nation there 
will be peace in the world." 

In fact, the Ten Commandments 
leave us with the impressive message 
that we are free either to serve God 
and keep his commandments or to be 
ruled by tyrants. 

Then we have the answer that Jesus 



gave to the lawyer who asked him a 
question, tempting him and saying: 

"Master, which is the great com- 
mandment in the law? 

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with 
all thy mind. 

"This is the first and great com- 
mandment. 

"And the second is like unto it, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy- 
self. 

"On these two commandments hang 
all the law and the prophets." (Matt. 
22:36-40.) 

Homes are broken, individuals are 
confused and lost, and prisons are 
full of men who do not believe in 
God and who fail to love their neigh- 
bors. And many argue that we cannot 
be honest and compete, that we can- 
not love our fellowmen as ourselves 
without their taking advantage of us, 
and that we cannot apply the prin- 
ciples of the gospel in dealing with 
other nations. 

There are those, too, who claim that 
the gospel is old-fashioned; that men 
through scientific development are be- 
coming more and more self-sufficient 
and need not rely on God. Others 
argue that the gospel is too restrictive, 
that it takes away our liberty, and that 
we cannot enjoy the advantages of a 
broad education, accept scientific 
truths, and participate in worthwhile 
community activities. 

This is just not true. We know 
that the Lord has given us the earth 
and all things therein for our use and 
for our benefit. We have been told 
to subdue the earth. As members of 
the Church we are encouraged to gain 
an education, to learn what we can, 
to prepare ourselves to take our places 
in the world, and to contribute all we 
can to the good and welfare of man- 
kind. 

We know that great strides have 
been made in science and in subduing 
the earth. We know that mankind is 
enjoying conveniences, comforts, and 
blessings far greater than at any other 
time in the history of the world. How- 
ever, we must also realize that no 
scientist or group of scientists or philos- 
ophers has ever, through scientific re- 
search, been able to find out or give us 
an understanding of the relationship of 
God to man or where we came from, 
why we are here, or even when the 
spirit enters the body or what happens 
to it when we die. 

Elder James E. Talmage, in his book 
The Articles of Faith, emphasizes the 
importance of gaining an education, 
and we know that it is more important 
every day. He says that in the short 
span of mortal existence it is impos- 
sible for a man to explore with thor- 
oughness any considerable part of the 
vast realm of knowledge. It there- 
fore becomes necessary for him to 



DECEMBER 1866 



1097 



determine which field of knowledge 
will be of greatest worth to him in 
his chosen field of endeavor and then 
to learn everything he can about it. 
However, he emphasizes the impor- 
tance of everyone gaining theological 
knowledge, as a personal knowledge of 
God is essential to the salvation of 
every human soul. Therefore, its im- 
portance cannot be overestimated. 

This theological knowledge has been 
given to us by revelation down through 
the ages from Adam to our present- 
day Prophet. However, from the his- 
tory of mankind we learn that as 
man and the world prosper they have 
a tendency to forget God and to de- 
pend on their own knowledge and 
strength. As a result, millions of men 
and women are disturbed and con- 
fused, and many of them are commit- 
ing suicide. They need something 
positive. 

Let me emphasize again that those 
who have contributed most to the 
world are men who have had a belief 
in God and have tried to govern their 
lives accordingly. How much happier 
an individual is who can go to bed 



knowing that he has been honest with 
his fellowmen, that he is morally 
clean, that he is at peace with God, 
his Creator. 

How much happier are those who 
live in a community made up of God- 
fearing people! 

In my experience as a bishop, a stake 
president, and a general authority, I 
have never had anyone who under- 
stands the gospel and who has an 
abiding faith in God come to me with 
serious personal problems. 

J. Edgar Hoover, in his analysis of 
"The Problems of the Day," says: 

"The basic cause of the present situa- 
tion is that so many of our young 
people have no real sense of moral 
responsibility which comes from an 
infinite knowledge of God's teachings. 
The tragic lack of God and prayer in 
their lives weakens our homes and our 
nation's welfare." 

Then he emphasizes that either faith 
in God must triumph in the United 
States or we will be dominated by 
criminals and communists. 

Let us go forward with a positive 
attitude. Be not ashamed. Be not 




Seated on dais at Friday morning session were President N. Eldon Tanner, President Hugh B. 
Brown, President David O. McKay, President Joseph Fielding Smith, President Thorpe B. Isaac- 
son, Elder Harold B. Lee, Elder Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Ezra Taft Benson. 



influenced by those who ridicule and 
those who question and those who 
deny God. Let us not be among those 
who believe but do not have the 
courage and the strength to live ac- 
cording to the teachings of the gospel. 

As recorded in John, "Nevertheless 
among the chief rulers also many 
believed on him; but because of the 
Pharisees they did not confess him, 
lest they should be put out of the 
synagogue: 

"For they loved the praise of men 
more than the praise of God." (John 
12:42-43. Italics added.) 

Let us enjoy the good things in life. 
Enjoy the gospel and its teachings. 
Let us not waste our time looking for 
things to criticize in the gospel or in 
our neighbors. We must look at our- 
selves and repent and improve. And 
let us remember that there is nothing 
else quite so sure as that we will one 
day leave this frail existence. Let us 
set about to prepare ourselves for that 
day. 

". . . for . . . the day cometh that 
all shall rise from the dead and stand 
before God, and be judged according 
to their works." (Al. 11:41.) 

If we are to stop the onslaught of 
immorality, divorce and family dis- 
integration, lawlessness, strife, riots, 
burglaries, murders, crime, and decep- 
tion, we must not ask what are they 
doing about it. We must ask and 
answer the question, "What am 1 
doing?" Let us examine ourselves, 
acknowledge our faults, and repent 
where we should. 

We must begin by having righteous- 
ness in our own hearts, by disciplining 
ourselves, by having love and harmony 
in our homes, and by truly loving 
our neighbors. Let us have the wis- 
dom, courage, and determination to 
say with Joshua: ". . . choose you this 
day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for 
me and my house, we will serve the 
Lord." (Josh. 24:15.) 

I pray that each and every one of us 
will realize how important it is that we 
have family prayer in our home, that 
we have home evening, that we keep 
the Sabbath day holy, and dedicate 
ourselves to overcoming evil and keep- 
ing his commandments. 

Let us realize that "this is life 
eternal, that they might know thee 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, 
whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3), 
and set about to learn to know God. 

I thank God with all my heart that 
I know as I know I stand here that 
God lives, that we are his spirit 
children, that Jesus Christ is his Only 
Begotten Son, and that through his 
atonement all mankind may be saved 
by obedience to the laws and ordi- 
nances of the gospel as revealed 
through his prophets. 

May the Lord bless us to this end, 
I humbly pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



1098 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Judgments of the Lord to Pour Forth 

President Joseph Fielding Smith 
Of the First Presidency and President of the Council of the Twelve 



• According to the dictionary, chastity 
means "the quality or state of being 
chaste, free from sexual impurity — 
free in thought; modest, virtuous and 
free from vulgarity." 

When the Savior was with the 
Nephites he emphasized this principle 
and said to them: 

"And no unclean thing can enter 
into his kingdom; therefore nothing 
entereth into his rest save it be those 
who have washed their garments in 
my blood, because of their faith, and 
the repentance of all their sins, and 
their faithfulness unto the end. 

"Now this is the commandment: 
Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and 
come unto me and be baptized in my 
name, that ye may be sanctified by 
the reception of the Holy Ghost, that 
ye may stand spotless before me at the 
last day. 

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, this 
is my gospel; and ye know the things 
that ye must do in my church; for 
the works which ye have seen me do 
that shall ye also do; for that which 
ye have seen me do even that shall 
ye^do; 

"Therefore, if ye do these things 
blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up 
at the last day." (3 Ne. 27:19-22.) 

From the observation that we make 
as we travel from one place to another 
and from what we read in the public 
press, we are of necessity forced to the 
conclusion that repentance from sin is 
extremely essential throughout the 
world today. There has seldom been a 
time in the history of mankind when 
sin was not prevalent and the viola- 
tion of the divine commandment was 
almost, if not entirely, universal. We 
read in the sacred writings that it was 
not long after the children of Adam 
and Eve were grown that these 
children began to pair off and estab- 
lish families in the earth, and the in- 
fluence of Satan was felt among them, 
and they began to forget the teachings 
their parents had given them. Thus 
do the scriptures read: 

"And Adam and Eve blessed the 
name of God, and they made all 
things known unto their sons and 
daughters. 

"And Satan came among them, say- 
ing: I am also a son of God; and he 



commanded them saying: Believe it 
not; and they believed it not, and 
they loved Satan more than God. And 
men began from that time forth to be 
carnal, sensual, and devilish." (Moses 
5:12-13.) 

Very frequently I have this question 
asked of me: "When Lucifer, or the 
devil, was cast out of heaven, why did 
the Lord permit him to come to this 
earth to tempt and torment mankind? 
Why did he not punish him by send- 
ing him to some other, but isolated, 
place with his angels?" 

My answer has been that the Father 
permitted Lucifer to come here so 
that he could tempt us and test our 
faith. It is a divine decree, and 
one that is evidently essential, that 
we have this mortal probation; we are 
in it to be tested and proved to 
see if we can keep the command- 
ments in the face of temptation or 
trial. Our Eternal Father did not 
place us here without some protection 
against sin and the temptations of 
Satan. In the very beginning Adam 
and Eve were definitely instructed in 
the way of salvation and were given 
strict commandments to serve the Lord 
and bring their children up in the 
light and truth of the gospel, the prin- 
ciples of which are essential to man's 
salvation. Evidently angels from 
heaven were their instructors, and 
while the record does not reveal the 
event, Eve was baptized as well as 
Adam. Let it be remembered that the 
Fall was not the terrible thing which 
so many good people believe it to 
have been and which is proclaimed 
quite generally in the so-called Chris- 
tian world. It is customary for many re- 
ligious teachers in the world to refer 
to the Fall as "man's shameful fall," 
and it is so recorded in the King James 
translation of the Bible. However, 
the Fall was an essential part of man's 
mortal probation. It is a mistaken no- 
tion that prevails quite generally in the 
world that Adam and Eve would have 
lived in a world of ease, with their 
posterity, free from temptation and sin, 
if that fruit had not been taken. The 
fact is very clear, nevertheless, that 
had Adam and Eve not partaken, the 
great gift of mortality would not have 
come to them. Moreover, they would 



have had no posterity, and the great 
commandment given to them by the 
Lord would not have been fulfilled. 

The divine truth is that Adam and 
Eve were expected to do the very thing 
that they did. All of this was part 
of the divine plan. 

This mortal life is a part of our 
eternal life. Adam's "transgression," 
and I place the word in quotation 
marks, was an essential act which 
opened the doors for the millions of 
spirits to come to this earth and receive 
bodies of flesh and bones preparatory to 
their eternal salvation and exaltation. 

Mortality, therefore, is a part of the 
eternal plan in relation to the salva- 
tion and exaltation of the human 
family. Here we are tried, tempted, 
and proved to be either worthy of 
exaltation to thrones and kingdoms or 
partakers of his displeasure and thus 
assigned to some lesser kingdom. 

Lehi, when giving counsel to his 
son Jacob, spoke by prophecy of the 
coming of the Son of God in the 
meridian of time and had this counsel 
for him: 

"Wherefore, redemption cometh in 
and through the Holy Messiah; for he 
is full of grace and truth. 

"Behold he offereth himself a sac- 
rifice for sin, to answer the ends of the 
law, unto all those who have a broken 
heart and a contrite spirit; and unto 
none else can the ends of the law be 
answered. 

"Wherefore how great the impor- 
tance to make these things known unto 
the inhabitants of the earth, that they 
may know that there is no flesh that 
can dwell in the presence of God, 
save it be through the merits and 
mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, 
who layeth down his life according 
to the flesh, and taketh it again by 
the power of the Spirit, that he may 
bring to pass the resurrection of the 
dead, being the first that should rise. 

"Wherefore, he is the first-fruits 
unto God, inasmuch as he shall make 
intercession for all the children of 
men; and they that believe in him 
shall be saved. 

"And because of the intercession for 
all, all men come unto God; where- 
fore, they stand in the presence of 
him to be judged of him according 
to the truth and holiness which is in 
him. Wherefore, the ends of the law 
which the Holy One hath given, unto 
the inflicting of the punishment which 
is affixed, which punishment that is 
affixed is in opposition to that of the 
happiness which is affixed, to answer 
the ends of the atonement — 

"For it must needs be, that there is 
an opposition in all things. If not so, 
my first-born in the wilderness, righ- 
teousness could not be brought to pass, 
neither wickedness, neither holiness 
nor misery, neither good nor bad. 
Wherefore, all things must needs be a 
compound in one; wherefore, if it 



DECEMBER 1966 



1099 



should be one body it must needs re- 
main as dead, having no life neither 
death, nor corruption nor incorrup- 
tion, happiness nor misery, neither 
sense nor insensibility. 

"Wherefore, it must needs have 
been created for a thing of naught; 
wherefore there would have been no 
purpose in the end of its creation. 
Wherefore, this thing must needs de- 
stroy the wisdom of God and his eter- 
nal purposes, and also the power, and 
the mercy, and the justice of God." 
(2 Ne. 2:6-12.) 

In course of time, so the scriptures 
say, "God saw that the wickedness of 
man was great in the earth, and that 
every imagination of the thoughts of 
his heart was only evil continually." 
(Gen. 6:5.) 

And thus, down through the ages, we 
discover, if we are willing to believe 
what is written in the scriptures, that 
judgments and destructions had to be 
poured out upon the wicked because 
they would not repent. 

Not only were these punishments 
meted out to the inhabitants of the so- 
called Old World, but destructions 
awaited the inhabitants of this western 
world for the same cause. Through 
their prophets (I am speaking of the 
Nephites and Lamanites), they were 
constantly reminded that this land is 
"choice above all other lands, which 
the Lord God had preserved for a 
righteous people." (Eth. 2:7.) 

But we who live in the present day 
should take heed and profit by the 
experiences of those who have gone 
before and not fall into their grievous 
errors. We should remember that the 
same warnings have been given to 
us and "to all the inhabitants of the 
earth," that destruction awaits this 
age unless men refrain from wicked- 
ness and abominations. Let us not 
forget that the Lord said it should be 
in this day as it was in the days of 
Noah. We should remember also 
that he is still a "God of wrath" as 
well as a "God of love," and that he 
has promised to pour out his wrath 
upon the ungodly and to "take ven- 
geance upon the wicked" who will not 
repent. 

Not only did the ancient prophets 
predict that such should be the case in 
these latter days; the Lord has also 
spoken it in our own dispensation. 

I want to bear testimony to this 
congregation, and to the heavens and 
the earth, that the day is come when 
those angels are privileged to go forth 
and commence their work. They are 
laboring in the United States of Amer- 
ica; they are laboring among the na- 
tions of the earth; and they will 
continue. We need not marvel or 
wonder at anything that is transpiring 
in the earth. The world does not 
comprehend the revelations of God. 
It did not in the days of the Jews; 
yet all that the prophets had spoken 




concerning them came to pass. So 
in our day these things will come to 
pass. We cannot draw a veil over the 
events that await this generation. No 
man who is inspired by the Spirit and 
power of God can close his ears, his 
eyes, or his lips to these things. 

And thus we might quote in- 
definitely from the ancient prophets 
as well as from the prophets of this 
dispensation and even from the Lord 
himself, in relation to the troubles, 
destructions, wars, and plagues which 
are to come upon the inhabitants of 
the earth — yes, even Zion also — unless 
the people repent. "The Lord's scourge," 
so he says, "shall pass over by 
night and by day, and the report 
thereof shall vex all people: yea it 
shall not be stayed until the Lord 
come; 

"For the indignation of the Lord is 
kindled against their abominations 
and all their wicked works." 

But the promise has been made to 
Zion and the pure in heart, that they 
shall escape if they "observe to do all 
things whatsoever I [the Lord] have 
commanded. . . ." (D&C 97:23-25.) 

What is here given will suffice 
as a warning to a "perverse generation" 
and to remind the members of the 
Church that the Lord has said: 



"Even so it shall be in that day 
when they shall see all these things, 
then shall they know that the hour 
is nigh. 

"And it shall come to pass that 
he that feareth me shall be looking 
forth for the great day of the Lord 
to come, even for the signs of the 
coming of the Son of Man. 

"And they shall see signs and won- 
ders, for they shall be shown forth in 
the heavens above, and in the earth 
beneath. 

"And they shall behold blood, and 
fire, and vapors of smoke." (D&C 
45:38-41.) 

"And take heed to yourselves, lest 
at any time your hearts be over- 
charged with surfeiting, and drunken- 
ness, and cares of this life, and so that 
day come upon you unawares. 

"For as a snare shall it come on 
all them that dwell on the face of the 
whole earth. 

"Watch ye therefore, and pray al- 
ways, that ye may be accounted 
worthy to escape all these things that 
shall come to pass, and to stand be- 
fore the Son of man." (Luke 21:34- 
36.) 

May we walk in paths of righteous- 
ness for his name's sake is my prayer, 
in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



noo 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Friday Morning Session, September 30, 1966 



God's Gifts to Polynesia's People 



Thomas S. Monson 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• President McKay, I know that I 
speak the innermost thoughts of all 
assembled here and those listening 
and watching by radio and television 
everywhere in expressing a prayer to 
our Heavenly Father, wherein we 
would say, 

"We thank thee, O God, for a 
prophet, to guide us in these latter 
days." (William Fowler, Hymns 196.) 
As a part of that prayer, I would also 
include another feeling of gratitude, an 
expression of appreciation to President 
McKay, for the precious privilege that 
he has afforded me, together with 
Elder Paul H. Dunn, to work so closely 
with Polynesia's people scattered upon 
the isles of the sea. 

The choir brings to us a message of 
hope, of gratitude, of peace. However, 
the daily newspaper from distant 
Tahiti tells of fear, frustration, and 
conflict, for on the atolls of Mururoa 
and Fangataufa, thermonuclear test- 
ing has begun. Atomic and hydrogen 
explosions thrust a new dimension 
upon Polynesia. One native was heard 
to say, "The kiss of death has been 
bestowed upon Tahiti, the queen of 
the islands of the Pacific." Well might 
we who most love these people ask the 
perplexing question, "Has paradise 
caught up with progress, or has 
progress overtaken paradise?" 

But then, the people of Polynesia 
have survived a variety of threats from 
a multitude of sources through many 
periods of time. 

When Captain James Cook and his 
ship's crew of the Endeavor first sailed 
into Matavai Bay in the mid-1700's, 
they found a literal Polynesian para- 
dise, with fresh water in torrents and 
flowers and fruit everywhere. They 
found a people every bit as beautiful 
as their surroundings. There was food 
all around them: fish in the lagoons, 
breadfruit and coconuts in the branches 
overhead, bananas, yams, and sugar- 
cane growing wild in prolific abun- 
dance. For the most part, the people 
knew no sickness, except the gentle 
decline into old age and death. But 
then came what has been called the 
"fatal impact" of European civilization. 
Firearms, disease, alcohol, an alien 
code of laws became a threat to the 
people and their culture, just as the 



current products of our advanced so- 
ciety pose the threats of today. 

But Polynesia remains synonymous 
with paradise. The word itself, mean- 
ing "many islands," is descriptive of 
the area of Polynesia that covers a 
major portion of the Pacific Ocean. 
Geographically, it is bounded roughly 
by an imaginary triangle drawn from 
Hawaii southward to New Zealand, 
thence eastward to Easter Island, and 
thence back to Hawaii. Here we find 
major island groups, large volcanic is- 
lands, smaller coral atolls, and tiny, 
uninhabited islets. 

Robert Louis Stevenson described 
the Polynesian sky as "immoderately 
blue"; but for the Polynesians them- 
selves, he reserved the fitting tribute: 
". . . the sweetest people God ever 
made." Polynesians are friendly, lov- 
ing, handsome, and intelligent people. 
Their history is exciting, their spoken 
words like a beautiful melody, their 
hospitality genuine, and their beauty 
legendary. 

Many ask, "Why are these people 
so bounteously blessed?" "Why do re- 
turning missionaries always retain in 
their hearts a love for the islands and 
their people?" "Why do Polynesia's 
people so love the Lord?" The answer 
is found recorded in sacred scripture: 
"Know ye not that I, the Lord your 
God, have created all men, and that I 
remember those who are upon the isles 
of the sea. . . ." (2 Ne. 29:7.) 
". . . great are the promises of the Lord 
unto them who are upon the isles 
of the sea." (2 Ne. 10:21.) 

These promises, these gifts from 
God, are apparent to those who visit 
Polynesia. May I invite you today, 
for a few moments, to accompany me 
on a journey to the islands of the 
Pacific and look in on Polynesia's 
people, that we might learn of God's 
gifts to them. Whether we stop at 
New Zealand among the Maori, at 
Samoa, "the heart of the South Seas," 
at Nuku'alofa, Tonga, in the Friendly 
Islands, at Papeete in Tahiti, or at 
beautiful Rarotonga, we find people 
who are recipients of choice and cher- 
ished gifts. 

Time permits a review of but five 
such gifts. I have chosen the gift of 
song, the gift of faith, the gift of love, 



the gift of obedience, and the gift of 
gratitude. 

We have witnessed today an expres- 
sion of this gift of song. Polynesians 
need no formal lessons in music. Their 
voices are naturally resonant, their 
ears tuned to melody. A ukulele is as 
common to a lad there as a jackknife 
is to a boy here. Dancing and song 
become parts of a way of life. 

Just this past June in New Zealand 
a tragic drowning claimed the lives of 
two instructors at the Church College 
at Temple View. The young widows 
and their children were overcome by 
grief and heartache. Many well- 
wishing and sympathetic friends of- 
fered words of consolation, but the 
remorse remained. There came a soft 
knock at the door; a group of Maori 
Saints entered the room. Not a word 
was spoken, but song came forth from 
their lips and hearts. The bereaved 
families received a sustaining influence 
that accompanied them through the 
lonely and long journey homeward 
and even today turns tears of sorrow 
to warm smiles of gratitude. ". . . the 
song of the righteous is a prayer unto 
me [sayeth the Lord], and it shall be 
answered with a blessing upon their 
heads." (D&C 25:12.) The Polyne- 
sians have the gift of song. 

The gift of faith, which they also 
enjoy, at times takes the form of 
miraculous healings of body and mind. 
In other instances it is reflected by 
simple trust and calm assurance that 
God will provide. 

On my first visit to the fabled village 
of Sauniatu, so loved by President 
McKay, my wife and I met with a 
large gathering of small children. At 
the conclusion of our messages to these 
shy, yet beautiful, youngsters, I sug- 
gested to the native Samoan teacher 
that we go forward with the closing 
exercises. As he announced the final 
hymn, I suddenly felt compelled to 
personally greet each of these 247 
children. My watch revealed that 
the time was too short for such a privi- 
lege, so I discounted the impression. 
Before the benediction was to be 
spoken, I again felt this strong im- 
pression to shake the hand of each 
child. This time I made the desire 
known to the instructor, who displayed 
a broad and beautiful Samoan smile. 
He spoke in Samoan to the children, 
and they beamed their approval of 
his comments. 

The instructor then revealed to me 
the reason for his and their joy. He 
said, "When we learned that President 
McKay had assigned a member of the 
Council of the Twelve to visit us in 
far-away Samoa, I told the children if 
they would each one earnestly and 
sincerely pray and exert faith like the 
Bible accounts of old, that the Apostle 
would visit our tiny village at Sauni- 
atu, and through their faith, he would 
be impressed to greet each child with 



DECEMBER 1966 



IIOI 



a personal handclasp." Tears could 
not be restrained as each of those 
precious boys and girls walked shyly 
by and whispered softly to us a sweet 
talofa lava. The gift of faith had 
been evidenced. 

The gift of love is found throughout 
Polynesia: a love of God, a love of 
sacred things, and love for family, 
friends, and fellowmen. At Papeete, 
Tahiti, I met a distinguished yet hum- 
ble man, extraordinarily blessed with 
the gift of love. He was 84-year-old 
Tahauri Hutihuti from the island of 
Takaroa in the Taumotu Island group. 
A faithful Church member all his life, 
he had longed for the day when there 
would be in the Pacific a holy temple 
of God. He had a love for the sacred 
ordinances he knew could only be 
performed in such a house. Patiently, 
and with purpose, he carefully saved 
his meager earnings as a pearl diver. 
When the New Zealand Temple was 
completed and opened, he took from 
beneath his bed his life savings of 
$600, accumulated over a 40-year span; 
and together with loved ones, he jour- 
neyed to the temple and thereby 
brought a fond dream to final ful- 
fillment. 

As I said a tender good-bye to the 
Tahitians, each one came forward, 
placed an exquisite shell lei about my 
neck, and left an affectionate kiss 
upon my cheek. Tahauri, who did 
not speak English, stood by my side 
and spoke to me through an inter- 
preter. The interpreter listened atten- 
tively and then, turning to me, reported: 
"Tahauri says he has no gift to be- 
stow except the love of a full heart." 
Tahauri clasped my hand and kissed 
my cheek. Of all the gifts received 
that memorable night, the gift of this 
faithful man remains the brightest. 

Allied with this gift of love is the 
gift of obedience. When a Polynesian 
hears God's Prophet speak, he obeys. 
When he sings, "We thank thee, O 
God, for a prophet," he sings with his 
heart, as well as his voice, and the 
walls resound. 

Lauvale Tialavea, a counselor in the 
Samoan Mission presidency, typifies 
the spirit of obedience. He is handsome 
in appearance, sincere in his testimony, 
and responds to each call with seldom 
equalled enthusiasm A convert to the 
Church, he formerly studied for the 
ministry of another faith. Intelligent, 
educated, keen thinking, and fearless, 
his actions demonstrate his love for 
the newly found truth that is his very 
life. A kind husband and father of 
ten, he has, since his baptism in 1961, 
taught the gospel to many hundreds 
of persons and has himself baptized 
174 as they have entered the kingdom 
of God. 

Ridiculed by the unbelievers for 
lifting his voice in testimony, stoned 
for his teaching of the truth, mocked 
for his adherence to a rigid code of 



conduct, he courageously tells others 
of an apostasy from the Church that 
followed the death of the Lord and his 
apostles, and of the restoration of the 
gospel in this dispensation through 
the Prophet Joseph Smith. I asked, 
"What provides your incentive, your 
strength to carry on such a missionary 
crusade amidst such a storm of pro- 
test?" He replied: "Our prophet, 
God's mouthpiece, has asked that 'every 
member be a missionary.' My desire is 
to be obedient to the Prophet." I 
thought of the words of Samuel: "... 
to obey is better than sacrifice, and to 
hearken than the fat of rams." (I Sam. 
15:22.) I heard the clarion call of 
Joshua: ". . . as for me and my house, 
we will serve the Lord." (Josh. 24:15.) 
To these people, obedience is a gift, 
and they honor it. 




Members of Samoan Choir, Oahu Stake, sing 
at conference session. In background is Taber- 
nacle organ. 

I introduce next the gift of grati- 
tude. Late one evening on a Pacific 
isle, a small boat slipped silently to its 
berth at the crude pier. Two Poly- 
nesian women helped Meli Mulipola 
from the boat and guided him to the 
well-worn pathway leading to the vil- 
lage road. The women marveled at 
the bright stars that twinkled in the 
midnight sky. The friendly moon- 
light guided them along their way. 
However, Meli Mulipola could not 
appreciate these delights of nature — 
the moon, the stars, the sky — for he 
was blind. 

His vision had been normal until 
that fateful day when, while working 
on a pineapple plantation, light turned 
suddenly to darkness and day became 
perpetual night. He had learned of the 
restoration of the gospel and teachings 
of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints. His life had been 
brought into compliance with these 
teachings. 

He and his loved ones had made 
this long voyage, having learned that 
one who held the priesthood of God 
was visiting among the islands. He 



sought a blessing under the hands of 
those who held the sacred priesthood. 
His wish was granted, a blessing pro- 
vided. Tears streamed from his sightless 
eyes and coursed down his brown 
cheeks, tumbling finally upon his na- 
tive dress. He dropped to his knees 
and prayed: "Oh God, thou knowest 
I am blind. Thy servants have blessed 
me that my sight return. Whether in 
thy wisdom I see light or whether I 
see darkness all the days of my life, 
I will be eternally grateful for the 
truth of thy gospel which I now see 
and which provides the light of my 
life." He arose to his feet, thanked 
us for providing the blessing, and dis- 
appeared into the still of night. 
Silently he came. Silently he departed. 
But his presence I shall never forget. 
I reflected upon the message of the 
Master: "I am the light of the world: 
he that followeth me shall not walk in 
darkness, but shall have the light of 
life." (John 8:12.) 

There came to me an appreciation of 
these gifts of God to Polynesia's peo- 
ple: The gift of song, the gift of faith, 
the gift of love, the gift of obedience, 
and the gift of gratitude. But such 
gifts were suddenly dwarfed as I re- 
membered God's greatest gift, given 
not only to the Polynesians, but to you, 
to me, and to all persons everywhere 1 — 
the gift of his Only Begotten and 
precious Son, Jesus Christ. 

We may never open gates of cities 
or doors of palaces, but we will find 
true happiness and lasting joy when 
there enters our heart and soul a 
knowledge and understanding of this 
supreme gift. "He comes to us as 
one unknown, without a name, as 
of old, by the lakeside, when he 
came to those men who knew him not. 
He speaks to us the same words, 
'Follow thou me,' and sets us to the 
tasks that he has to fulfill for our 
time. He commands; and to those 
who obey him, whether they be wise 
or simple, he will reveal himself in 
the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings 
that they shall pass through in his 
fellowship; and they shall learn in 
their own experience who he is." (Al- 
bert Schweitzer, The Quest for the 
Historical Jesus.) 

Like a bright searchlight of truth, 
his gospel will direct our journey 
along the pathways of life. Oh, how 
blessed are we to have this never 
dimming, always glowing hope and 
the eternal knowledge that belongs to 
us and that we share with the world: 
that the gospel has been restored to 
earth, that God lives, that Jesus is his 
Son, our elder brother, our mediator 
with the Father, our Lord and our 
Savior, God's greatest gift to us. 

May our Heavenly Father bless us 
with an appreciation of his sacrifice; 
may our lives reflect our gratitude, I 
ask in the name, the blessed name, of 
Jesus Christ, God's gift to us. Amen. 



1102 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



To Be- Not to Have Been 

Paul H. Dunn 

Of the First Council of the Seventy 



•President McKay, your stirring mes- 
sage this morning has touched each of 
us very deeply, and I have felt the 
Spirit of our Heavenly Father on this 
most sacred occasion. I have thrilled 
with you in the testimony of Elder 
Monson. It brought very forcefully to 
my mind many similar experiences I 
have been privileged to share with him 
in the South Pacific. And I think it 
has been a fitting climax to have this 
marvelous choir share their testimonies 
through song as they have praised the 
Lord. 

Did you know that Woodrow Wil- 
son had a pretty long nose? And they 
tell us that he often wore his glasses 
near the end of it. Upon being asked 
the reason for this practice, he jokingly 
replied: "I wear my glasses near the 
end of my nose so that I can always 
see what I am talking about." 

I hope you ladies in the listening 
audience will pardon me if it seems to 
you for a moment that I don't know 
what I'm talking about. And I hope 
you will excuse me if I seem to be 
a bit frank. I think the hair styles 
you are wearing now — perhaps I 
should say some of the styles that some 
women and girls are wearing now — 
are, to say the least, quite out of the 
ordinary, although I suspect that if 
you would ask the opinion of men at 
the end of the season, you would find 
that they had become quite accus- 
tomed to your unusual styles. 

Or take the problem of ladies' make- 
up. "If my sister or girl friend makes 
up her face like some magazine ads, 
I'll disown her," fellows used to say. 
But after a while they had "grown ac- 
customed to her face" (as the hit tune 
suggests). "Well, it may be all right 
for girls, but you can be assured that 
my wife shall never so degrade herself 
in the eyes of other people," another 
says. A few months pass and some- 
thing happens. "Well, of course, if 
you really like it and since all the 
other women are doing it, go ahead, 
and see how it looks." 

Now you brethren, don't tell me 
you haven't had some of these con- 
versations or thoughts. But we did draw 
the line at grandmothers. All right for 
young ladies, not so bad for the 
middle-aged, but when it came to old 



folks — well, there we called it quits. 
And now we like it. At least when it's 
done in moderation and good taste 
and we find ourselves fussing when 
women threaten to return to the old 
style. 

It's the same way with inventions. I 
can remember when we used to laugh 
at certain makes of new cars, because 
they were so low slung, so close to the 
ground. To have real class, an auto- 
mobile must ride high above the road 
and have enormous wheels. Today, 
after the passing of only a few decades, 
we seldom see one of the old sky- 
scraper cars on the street, and when we 
do, we smile. 

"Why, I wouldn't use one of those 
new-fangled electric sewing machines, 
if you'd give it to me," a highly edu- 
cated woman said not more than 20 
years ago. Now I'm quite certain she 
would be satisfied with nothing else. 

Have you known many mothers, 
after using electric washers for some 
time, who longed for the good old days 
when they had the privilege of washing 
their clothes by hand, or fathers who 
would give anything in the world to 
get rid of motor cars and go back to 
muddy roads and the one-horse shay? 

And yet a lot of these same people, 
who gradually accept new styles and 
inventions, close their minds to new 
ideas and truths in religion that could 
bring them eternal joy and salvation. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could 
adjust ourselves as easily to new truth 
as we do to new habits of styling and 
to new inventions? It is only natural 
that people should criticize when new 
ideas first arrive. Anything that is new 
and different always arouses suspicion. 
But why they should gradually accept 
new discoveries of truth in other fields 
and not in the restored gospel is diffi- 
cult to understand. Still, I think there 
may be one reason for this difference. 
Folks accept new customs because 
through use they gradually learn to see 
their value. The reason some people 
don't accept revealed truth from 
heaven is because they are afraid or 
too stubborn to give it an honest trial 
and thus find its worth. 

My brothers, sisters, and friends, our 
forefathers did not know all about 
electricity. Let us consider our knowl- 



edge of electricity as compared with 
that of Benjamin Franklin's day. Do 
we think that they had the last word 
in scientific truth? As mankind has 
grown in the use of electricity, so has 
he also grown in the knowledge of it. 
This, likewise, applies to the truths 
of the gospel. In the same manner, 
by using the gospel in our daily lives, 
we are prepared for increased knowl- 
edge of revealed truth. 

Today, as in every age, we should 
look to the living prophets of the Lord 
for guidance and direction. The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints is led by such a prophet in 
David O. McKay. Through him and 
the Prophets of this dispensation — be- 
ginning with Joseph Smith — many new 
truths have been revealed. 

May I share with you five of the 
significant truths that mark the belief 
of Latter-day Saints in their under- 
standing of a universe in which God 
is a gloriously real and intelligent 
being, and in which they, individually, 
have a significant part to play. 

First, the Latter-day Saint knows 
himself to be an eternal being. He is 
challenged by a divine plan of pro- 
gression that can make both mortality 
and the eternities to come an ongoing 
experience of purpose and meaning. 
He sees an unmeasured capacity within 
himself for growth and development 
in a universe of order and design. 

Second, he believes that he has a 
divine heritage. His eternal, primal 
self was born into a spirit body of 
which God is the eternal father. Thus 
men and women are truly sons and 
daughters of God. So men partake 
of the divine nature of God in whose 
image they are created. Weak and 
imperfect as men may be today, their 
future growth and achievement is 
limited only by the extent to which 
they fulfill the promise of the spark 
of divinity that lies within them. 

Third, it is the freedom that exalts 
the individual. True freedom is a 
condition that every individual must 
develop for himself. It is based upon 
the gospel principle of responsible free 
agency — not just free agency, but re- 
sponsible free agency — because respon- 
sibility and the right and capacity to 
choose go hand in hand in the gospel. 
We need to distinguish between free 
agency and freedom. Free agency is 
the right to choose, while freedom is 
both the ability and the opportunity 
to put that choice into action. True 
freedom, however, must be achieved. 
This achievement is accomplished 
through individual growth in the 
understanding of, and the ability to, 
accept and use eternal truth. You 
and I are not only responsible free 
agents, but we are literally divine 
offspring of God in that capacity. 
Personal freedom that comes from ac- 
ceptance of, and adherence to, eternal 
truth is one of the great revelations 



DECEMBER 1966 



1103 



that guides our lives today. 

Fourth is the eternal principle of 
marriage. For the Latter-day Saint, 
marriage is more than a relationship 
established for convenience; rather, it 
is an eternal companionship that exists 
between husband and wife and be- 
tween parents and children wherein 
they are bound together as a unit for 
time and all eternity. In line with 
the eternal nature of man, the Latter- 
day Saint idea of marriage is an 
exalting one, for, as the scripture indi- 
cates, ". . . neither is the man without 
the woman, neither the woman with- 
out the man, in the Lord" (I Cor. 
11:11), indicating that the marriage 
and family covenant is not a "till 
death do we part" relationship but 
one that exists for time and for all 
eternity. 

Fifth is the cheerful news that the 
gospel plan for man is both optimistic 
and positive. As the Prophet Joseph 
Smith explained, "Happiness is the 
object and design of our existence. . . ." 
(DHC 5, 134.) Progress is a mechani- 
cal thing. We must be aware of the 
forces that shape our lives and of our 
part in them. Sorrow and unhappiness 
mark our failures to seize upon and 
make the most of the opportunities life 
gives us for growth and achievement. 
Happiness is not the reward of an 
indefinite future but comes daily along 
the way. It comes to those who can 
recognize and mark their own indi- 
vidual progress in making the divine 
truths of the universe about them an 



effective part of their lives and daily 
living. The man most likely to use 
truth is the one who seeks to under- 
stand it and to appreciate its value in 
his own life. 

Remember, as Bruce Barton has said, 
"When we're through changing, we're 
through." 

"The secret of genius," declared 
Carlyle, "is to carry the spirit of child- 
hood into old age — with boundless 
curiosity about the future — flexible, 
growing, hoping, trying, ready at all 
times for change." 

And that applies to religion as well 
as to every other phase of thinking. 

The Savior taught that "you must 
become as a little child." I take it he 
meant to be not only innocent, but 
also open-minded and searching, seek- 
ing unto the end of life for more and 
more truth, wherever it can be found — 
the truth that sets us free. 

Today several thousand men and 
women, missionaries, in every corner 
of the world carry the divine message 
of the restored gospel. May I chal- 
lenge you this day, member and non- 
member alike, to search your hearts. 
Open your homes and your hearts, 
that you might come to know the 
truth. 

The revealed truths that we declare 
to the world today are true. God has 
spoken again, and he speaks through 
his Prophet, David O. McKay; I 
give you that solemn and personal 
witness, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



Where Is Peace? 

Howard W. Hunter 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• On the campus of one of our large 
universities there were recent riots by 
students carrying large placards, some 
of which had the words, "We demand 
peace." It cannot be denied that we 
live in troubled times and that the 
lives of most people in the world today 
are affected by war. Both sides of the 
controversy have stated their terms for 
peace, and politicians talk about an 
equitable and lasting peace despite the 
fact that down through history there 
has been almost continual warfare and 
political unrest. 

The Apostle James, in writing to 
Israel, asked this question: "From 
whence come wars and fightings 
among you? come they not hence, 
even of your lusts that war in your 
members? 



"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and 
desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye 
fight and war, yet ye have not, because 
ye ask not. 

"Ye ask, and receive not, because 
ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it 
upon your lusts." (James 4:1-3.) 

At the time of this writing, the Jews 
were revolting against the Romans in 
defense of their religion and fighting 
to procure the liberty to which they 
believed themselves entitled. They had 
been split in many factions and were 
having conflicts among themselves. 
At the same time they were waging 
wars against the heathens in Egypt, 
Syria, and other places, killing many 
and being massacred in their turn. 

James asks this question: Does not 
war come from lusts? The Jewish con- 



tentions and predatory wars were 
generated upon lust. Lust has been the 
motivating force of the wars that have 
afflicted and desolated the world. One 
nation has coveted another's territory 
or property or has attempted to force 
its will or way of life upon another by 
resorting to physical violence as a 
means to accomplish its purposes. 
Nations kill, slay, burn, and destroy 
until one of them is overcome. History 
is a repetitious recital of intentional 
and wanton destruction of life and 
property. Today is not different from 
the yesterdays. The populace prays 
and cries for peace. 

The word peace appears frequently 
in scripture and has many meanings. 
In classical Greek the word refers to 
cessation, discontinuance, or absence of 
hostilities between rival forces. This 
definition is the antithesis of war and 
strife. The New Testament, however, 
has given far wider range of meaning. 
This is partly due to the influence of 
the Hebrew word for peace, which is 
far more comprehensive of meaning. 
It was commonly used as a form of 
greeting when persons met or parted: 
"May peace be with you." 

Jesus said, "Daughter, thy faith hath 
made thee whole; go in peace. . . ." 
(Mark 5:34.) On the evening of the 
day of the resurrection, he came to the 
place where the disciples were assem- 
bled and said to them, "Peace be unto 
you. 

"And when he had so said, he 
shewed unto them his hands and his 
side. Then were the disciples glad, 
when they saw the Lord. 

"Then said Jesus to them, again, 
Peace be unto you. . . ." (John 20: 
19-21.) 

Paul has incorporated this greeting 
into the opening sentences of his let- 
ters, as do the other writers of the 
epistles. 

The word has also been used in the 
New Testament in reference to "do- 
mestic peace" between husband and 
wife (1 Cor. 7:15), to harmonious 
relationships within the whole family 
(Matt. 10:34), and in many instances 
to happy, personal relationships with 
others. It has also been used to mean 
"peace of mind" or serenity, and the 
right relationships between God and 
man. 

Because of the difference in defini- 
tions, those who seek peace may be 
searching for unrelated conditions. 
The peace for which the world longs 
is a time of suspended hostilities; but 
men do not realize that peace is a 
state of existence that comes to man 
only upon the terms and conditions 
set by God, and in no other way. 

In a psalm in the Book of Isaiah 
are these words: "Thou wilt keep him 
in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed 
on thee: because he trusteth in thee." 
(Isa. 26:3.) This perfect peace men- 
tioned by Isaiah comes to one only 



1104 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



1 ; 



through a belief in God. This is not 
understood by an unbelieving world. 

On the last occasion that Jesus had 
supper with the Twelve, he washed 
their feet, broke bread for them, and 
passed them the cup; then, after Judas 
had left their midst, the Master spoke 
to them at some length. Among other 
things, he told of his impending death 
and of the legacy he left for each of 
them. He had accumulated no goods, 
property, nor wealth. The record tells 
us of no possessions other than the 
clothing he wore, and on the next day 
after the crucifixion this would be 
divided by the soldiers, who would cast 
lots for his coat. His bequest was given 
to his disciples in these simple yet 
profound words: "Peace I leave with 
you, my peace I give unto you: not as 
the world giveth, give I unto you. Let 
not your heart be troubled, neither let 
it be afraid." (John 14:27.) 

He used the Jewish form of saluta- 
tion and benediction: "My peace I 
give unto you." This salutation and 
bequest was not to be taken by them 
in the usual sense, for he said, ". . . not 
as the world giveth, give I unto you." 
Not empty wishes, not just polite 
ceremony, as the people of the world 
use the words as matters of custom; 
but as the author and Prince of peace, 
he gave it to them. He bestowed it 
upon them and said, "Let not your 
heart be troubled, neither let it be 
afraid." Within a few hours they 
would be subjected to trouble, but with 
his peace they could overcome fear 
and stand firm. 

His last statement to them before 
the closing prayer on that memorable 
evening was this: ". . . in the world 
ye shall have tribulation: but be of 
good cheer; I have overcome the 
world." (John 16:33.) 

There is no promise of peace to those 
who reject God, to those who will 
not keep his commandments, or to 
those who violate his laws. The Proph- 
et Isaiah spoke of the decadence 
and corruption of leaders and then 
continued in his admonitions by say- 
ing: "But the wicked are like the 
troubled sea, when it cannot rest, 
whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 

"There is no peace, saith my God, 
to the wicked." (Isa. 56:20-21.) 

The unrighteous and wicked have 
no peace, and their actions take away 
the peace of others. Turmoil in the 
world has usually been caused by a 
few individuals or a minority, causing 
millions of innocent persons to suffer. 
Today, as in eras gone by, those who 
are the innocent victims of oppressors 
hopefully look for peace. This cannot 
come by riots or placards or even the 
cessation of hostilities. It can come 
only in the way the Lord gave his 
peace to the Twelve, "not as the world 
giveth." 

One of the great writers has penned: 
"Peace does not dwell in outward 



things, but within the soul; we may 
preserve it in the midst of the bitterest 
pain, if our will remains firm and 
submissive. Peace in this life springs 
from acquiescence, not in an exemp- 
tion from suffering." (Fenelon.) 

Emerson wrote: "Nothing can bring 
you peace but yourself; nothing can 
bring you peace but the triumph of 
principles." (Essay, "Self-Reliance.") 
These principles are incorporated into 
the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indiffer- 
ence to the Savior or failure to keep 
the commandments of God brings 
about insecurity, inner turmoil, and 
contention. These are the opposite of 
peace. Peace can come to an individual 
only by an unconditional surrender — 
surrender to him who is the Prince of 
peace, who has the power to confer 
peace. 

One may live in beautiful and 
peaceful surroundings but, because of 
inner dissension and discord, be in a 
state of constant turmoil. On the other 
hand, one may be in the midst of utter 
destruction and the bloodshed of war 
and yet have the serenity of unspeak- 
able peace. If we look to man and the 
ways of the world, we will find tur- 
moil and confusion. If we will but 



turn to God, we will find peace for 
the restless soul. This was made clear 
by the words of the Savior: "In the 
world ye shall have tribulation" (John 
16:33); and in his bequest to the 
Twelve and to all mankind, he said, 
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I 
give unto you: not as the world giv- 
eth. . . ." (John 14:27.) 

We can find this peace now in a 
world of conflict if we will but accept 
his great gift and his further invita- 
tion: "Come unto me, all ye that 
labour and are heavy laden, and I 
will give you rest. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn 
of me; for I am meek and lowly in 
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your 
souls." (Matt. 11:28-29.) 

This peace shelters us from the 
worldly turmoil. The knowledge that 
God lives, that we are his children, 
and that he loves us soothes the 
troubled heart. The answer to the 
quest lies in faith in God and in his 
Son, Jesus Christ. This will bring 
peace to us now and in the eternity 
to follow. 

I witness that Jesus is the Christ, the 
Savior of the world, and that this is 
his Church, in his holy name. Amen. 



Friday Afternoon Session, September 30, 1966 



Continuous Revelation 

Spencer W. Kimball 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• President McKay, my brethren; 
brothers and sisters and friends: 

I pray that my brief remarks this 
day may touch believing hearts. 

My reference Bible is described as 
"The Holy Bible . . . translated out 
of the original tongues: and with the 
former translations diligently com- 
pared and revised, by his Majesty's 
special command" — King James Ver- 
sion. 

This is a transcendentally wonderful 
volume, a combination of about 66 
books, 1,189 chapters, with 1,545 pages. 

We of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints "believe the Bible 
to be the word of God as far as it is 
translated correctly. . . ." (Article of 
Faith 8.) 

When I was about 14 years of age, 
I read this marvelous volume from 
Genesis to Revelation. 

I believe the Bible. I love the 
Bible. It stimulates me. It lifts me. 
It inspires me. And, I never tire 
reading its pages. 

There is one phrase that brings 



me up short as I finish the Book of 
Malachi. In bold type are these words, 
"THE END OF THE PROPHETS." 
Regardless of what the compilers 
meant, I do not believe that Malachi 
was "the end of the prophets." As I 
finished the New Testament, I found 
once more in bold letters the words, 
"THE END." I do not believe that even 
the Book of Revelation was the end. 

Then I pondered. If it was meant 
that there were no more prophets or 
no more revelations, then that implica- 
tion would be terrifying. 

Another of the Articles of Faith says, 
"We believe all that God has revealed, 
all that He does now reveal, and we 
believe that He will yet reveal many 
great and important things pertaining 
to the Kingdom of God." (Article of 
Faith 9.) 

In the Old Testament, from Adam 
until Malachi, the prophets were 
testifying of the divinity of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. He was the God of the 
Old Testament, and it was he who 
conversed with Abraham and Moses. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1105 



It was he who inspired Isaiah and 
Jeremiah; it was he who foretold 
through those chosen men the happen- 
ings of the future even to the latest 
day and hour. 

And then the New Testament is 
what it implies — a new, additional 
witness and testimony of Jesus Christ 
and the divinity of his work and of the 
necessity of living the gospel that he 
outlined and proclaimed. 

I like the words of William Cowper: 

"God moves in a mysterious way, his 
wonders to perform. . . . 

"Deep in unfathomable minds of never 

failing skill, 
He treasures up his bright designs and 

works his sovereign will. 

"Blind unbelief is sure to err, and 

scan his work in vain 
God is his own interpreter, and he will 

make it plain." 

I believe with Peter: "For the 
prophecy came not in old time by the 
will of man: but holy men of God 
spake as they were moved by the Holy 
Ghost." (2 Pet. 1:21.) 

How this confused world needs reve- 
lation from God! 

Transportation and communication 
shorten time and distance, yet the 
world goes on. With war and pesti- 
lence and famine, with increased num- 
bers, poverty, desolation, and with 
more graft, dishonesty, and immoral- 
ity, certainly the people of this world 
need revelation from God as never 
before. How absurd to think that the 
Lord would give to a small handful 
of people in the Palestine world his 
precious direction through revelation 
and that now, in our extremity, he 
would close the heavens as he told 
the children of Israel he would if they 
would not live his commandments. 
The Lord said: 

"And I will break the pride of your 
power; and I will make your heaven as 
iron, and your earth as brass. . . ." 
(Lev. 26:19.) 

And the prophet Moroni quotes his 
father Mormon as asking: 

". . . has the day of miracles ceased? 

"Or have angels ceased to appear 
unto the children of men? Or has he 
withheld the power of the Holy Ghost 
from them? Or will he, so long as 
time shall last, or the earth shall stand, 
or there shall be one man upon the 
face thereof to be saved? 

". . . Nay, for it is by faith that mir- 
acles are wrought; and it is by faith 
that angels appear and minister unto 
men; wherefore, if these things have 
ceased wo be unto the children of men, 
for it is because of unbelief, and all is 
vain." (Moro. 7:35-37.) 

If the Bible were "the end of the 
prophets," it would be through lack 
of faith, and that is the reason the 



heavens at times were closed and 
locked and became as iron and the 
earth as brass. 

The Lord will not force himself 
upon people; and if they do not be- 
lieve, they will receive no visitation. 
If they are content to depend upon 
their own limited calculations and in- 
terpretations, then, of course, the Lord 
will leave them to their chosen fate. 

Moroni quotes again: ". . . if these 
things have ceased, then has faith 
ceased also; and awful is the state of 
man, for they are as though there had 
been no redemption made." (Moro. 
7:38.) 

There were the centuries of the dark 
ages when the. heavens were as iron, 
when there were no revelations re- 
corded; but more than a century ago, 
the iron ceiling was shattered, since 
which time revelations have been con- 
tinuous. 

Other books of scripture came into 
being. Vital and priceless records of 
ancient America with the teachings of 
Christ, another testimony of his di- 
vinity, were translated. And this Book 
of Mormon we declare to be divine 
scripture. 

And then there fell into the hands 
of Joseph Smith some ancient scrip- 
tures from the catacombs of Egypt 
that were the writings of Abraham 
while he was in Egypt and that were 
written by his own hand upon papyrus, 
from which they were translated and 
are known as the Book of Abraham; 
this book we declare to the world to 
be authentic and of divine origin. We 
also have the Book of Moses, an ac- 
count of the ancient days, contempo- 
rary with the Book of Genesis but a 
more complete record of that period 
as revealed to the Prophet Joseph 
Smith. 

Since that momentous day in 1820, 
additional scripture has continued to 
come, and numerous pertinent and 
vital revelations have been flowing in 
a never-failing stream from God to 
his prophets on the earth. These 
scriptures are called the Doctrine and 
Covenants. We declare them to be di- 
vine and official and authentic com- 
munications from the Lord to men 
through divinely appointed prophets 
and that there never has been and 
never shall be an end to the prophets 
so long as men have faith and be- 
lieve and live righteously. 

There are those who would assume 
that with the printing and binding 
of these sacred scripture records, that 
would be "the end of the prophets." 
But again, we testify to the world that 
revelation continues and that the 
vaults and files of the Church are 
full. 

Revelations come from month to 
month and from day to day, and 
since 1830, they have continued. As 
long as time shall last, a prophet, 
recognized of God, will continue to 



interpret the mind and will of God. 

Since we know positively that God 
lives and is the same yesterday, today, 
and forever, we can gauge the faith- 
fulness and spirituality of men by the 
degree and fullness of the communica- 
tions between them and God. 

Harper's Bible Dictionary defines 
revelation, saying: 

"... and only God can make God 
known. Revelation is the process 
whereby God makes himself known to 
men. . . . Revelation presupposes on 
the part of men a capacity of re- 
sponse. . . . Response calls for 
faith. . . . 

"The scriptures are the record of 
God's self-revelation and its re- 
sults. . . . 

"Revelation is therefore inseparable 
from faith, and unless a faith response 
is evoked there is no proper revelation." 
(Madeleine C. Miller and J. Lane 
Miller, Harper's Bible Dictionary 
[New York: Harper & Brothers Pub- 
lishers, 1952], pp. 613-14.) 

As the thoughtful student reads the 
numerous experiences of the modern 
leaders and the revelations and dreams 
and visions, it is apparent that they 
compare well with all those of the 
ancient past. 

The visions of Wilford Woodruff 
and Joseph F. Smith would certainly 
be on a par with the visions of Peter 
and Paul. The visions and revelations 
of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 
Kirtland Temple and in the Sacred 
Grove in New York were awesome, like 
the manifestations to Peter, James, and 
John on the Mount of Transfiguration. 

Certainly, if there is no variable- 
ness in the Lord, if there is no shadow 
of changing, and if, as he said, he is 
the same yesterday, today, and forever, 
then we may fully expect that the 
same revelations, visions, healings, and 
tongues are all available today as in 
any other day, providing there is the 
necessary faith. 

Joseph Smith's revelations were 
spectacular. After many centuries of 
spiritual darkness in the world, it was 
necessary that the Lord Jesus Christ 
restore his program on the earth, and 
that the Father return to introduce 
the Son, who would then establish the 
gospel of restoration. 

Revelation does not always mean 
"walking with God," nor "face-to- 
face," nor "lips-to-ear." There are 
many kinds of revelation — some more 
and some less spectacular. 

The vision to Peter, James, and John, 
the pillars of the early Church, was 
awesome. They followed Jesus into 
the high mountain, where "his face 
did shine as the sun, and his raiment 
was white as the light." (Matt. 17:2.) 
Here these three great prophets saw 
Moses and Elias, long since dead, and 
were with Christ and heard the voice 
of Elohim introducing his Beloved 
Son, Jehovah. 



1106 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Magnificent and eternity-embracing 
were the revelations to Abraham, 
known as "the friend of God." Angels 
ministered to him and the Lord spoke 
to him. He said: 

"I, Abraham, talked with the Lord 
face to face as one man talketh with 
another; and he told me of the works 
which his hands had made." (Abr. 
3:11.) 

". . . the Lord spake to Moses face 
to face as a man speaketh with a 
friend." (Exod. 33:11.) 

Indicating the different types of 
revelation, the Lord revealed through 
Aaron and Miriam: 

". . . If there be a prophet among 
you, I the Lord will make myself 
known unto him in a vision, and will 
speak unto him in a dream. 

"My servant Moses is not so. . . . 

"With him will I speak mouth to 
mouth, even apparently, and not in 
dark speeches; and the similitude of 
the Lord shall he behold. . . ." (Num. 
12:6-8.) 

The vision of the Prophet Joseph 
Smith in 1820 was spectacular and 
magnificent when the Father intro- 
duced his Only Begotten Son, Jesus 
Christ, to the boy prophet. Joseph 
Smith saw and heard. He said: 

"... I saw two Personages, whose 
brightness and glory defy all descrip- 
tion, standing above me in the air. 
One of them spake unto me, calling 
me by name and said, pointing to the 
other — This is My Beloved Son. Hear 
Him!" (Joseph Smith 2:17.) 

Realizing the skepticism of his con- 
temporaries, he continued: 

". . . it was nevertheless a fact that 
I had beheld a vision. . . . 

"... I had actually seen a light 
and in the midst of that light, I saw 
two Personages, and they did in reality 
speak to me; and though I was hated 
and persecuted for saying that I had 
seen a vision, yet it was true; and while 
they were persecuting me, reviling 
me, ... I was led to say in my heart: 
'Why persecute me for telling the 
truth? I have actually seen a vision; 
and who am I that I can withstand 
God, or why does the world think to 
make me deny what I have actually 
seen?' For I had seen a vision; I knew 
it, and I knew that God knew it, and I 
could not deny it, neither dared I do 
it; at least I knew that by so doing, 
I would offend God, and come under 
condemnation." (Joseph Smith 2:24- 
25.) 

Elder John A. Widtsoe says of this: 

"There was no mysticism about it. 
Joseph saw, in full light, the person- 
ages of the vision and heard their 
words. The vision was beyond philo- 
sophic quibbling." (John A. Widtsoe, 
Joseph Smith, p. 5.) 

Nothing short of this total vision to 
Joseph could have served the purpose 
to clear away the mists of darkness of 
the centuries. Merely an impression, 



a hidden voice, or a dream could 
hardly have dispelled the old vagaries 
and misconceptions of the ages. 

Moroni again said: 

"... I speak unto you who deny 
the revelations of God, and say that 
they are done away. . . . 

". . . he that denieth these things 
knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, 
he has not read the scriptures; if so, 
he does not understand them. 

"And now if ye have imagined up 
unto yourselves a god who doth vary, 
and in whom there is shadow of 
changing, then have ye imagined up 
unto yourselves a god who is not a 
God of miracles. 

"But behold, I will show unto you 
a God of miracles, . . . and it is that 
same God who created the heavens and 
the earth, and all things. . . ." (Morm. 
9:7-8, 10-11.) 

The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints has its prophets and 
has had them since the beginning of 
the restoration in 1830. Listen to 
Brigham Young: 

"I have the keys and the means of 
obtaining the word of God on the 
subject. . . . 

"Joseph conferred upon our heads 
all the keys and powers belonging to 
the Apostleship which he himself 
held . . . and no man or set of men 
can get between Joseph and the Twelve 
in this world or in the world to come. 

"How often has Joseph said to the 
Twelve, 'I have laid the foundation 
and you must build thereon, for upon 
your shoulders the kingdom rests.' ' 
(Documentary History of the Church, 
Vol. 7, p. 230.) 

Brigham Young, the leader of the 
exodus across the plains, also said: 

"I do not wish men to understand 
I had anything to do with our being 
moved here, that was the providence 
of the Almighty; it was the power of 
God that wrought out salvation for this 
people, I never could have devised 
such a plan." (Journal of Discourses, 
Vol. 4, p. 41.) 

Most recorded revelations in the 
Doctrine and Covenants and in the 
Bible were from deep feelings and an 
impressive consciousness of direction 
from above. But some were more 
direct. The believer of the Bible 
would hardly question the call of 
Enoch, nor the call of Saul of Tarsus, 
nor that of Barnabas. And yet, those 
same Bible readers would take upon 
themselves the assumed authority to 
preach and teach and perform ordi- 
nances without special authority from 
God. 

Brigham Young received a vision 
before building this beautiful temple 
on this block. Here are his own 
words: 

". . . five years ago last July, I was 
here and saw in the Spirit the Temple 
not ten feet from where we have laid 
the Chief Corner Stone. I have not 



inquired what kind of a Temple we 
should build. Why? Because it was 
represented before me ... it will have 
six towers to begin with instead of 
one. . . ." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 
1, p. 33.) 

If all the spectacular manifestations 
and visions and pertinent dreams and 
healings and other miracles were 
written in books, it would take a great 
library to hold them. 

Comparable to the numerous reve- 
lations of the past would be the one 
of Wilford Woodruff, President of the 
Church in the last century: 

"I had some remarks last Sunday 
upon . . . revelation. Read the life 
of Brigham Young and you can hardly 
find a revelation that he had wherein 
he said, 'Thus saith the Lord.' But 
the Holy Ghost was with him; he 
taught by inspiration and revela- 
tion. . . . Joseph said, 'Thus saith the 
Lord' almost every day of his life, in 
laying the foundation of this work. 
But those who followed him have not 
deemed it always necessary to say, 
'Thus saith the Lord.' Yet they have 
led the people by the power of the 
Holy Ghost. . . . 

"It is by that power that we have 
led Israel; by that power President 
Young presided over and led the 
Church. By the same power, President 
John Taylor presided over and led 
the Church. And that is the way I 
have acted according to the best of 
my ability in that capacity. . . . He is 
giving us revelation, and will give us 
revelation until the scene is wound 
up. 

"I have had some revelations of 
late and very important ones to me 
and I will tell you what the Lord 
has said to me. . . . 

". . . The Lord . . . has told me 
exactly what to do ... I went before 
the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord 
told me to write. ..." (Deseret News, 
Nov. 7, 1891.) 

The work goes forward — and one 
prophet succeeds another. 

Joshua succeeded Moses, who had 
laid his hands upon him and ordained 
him. And then the Lord said: 

"There shall not any man be able 
to stand before thee [Joshua], all the 
days of thy life: as I was with Moses, 
so I will he with thee: I will not fail 
thee, nor forsake thee." (Josh. 1:5. 
Italics added.) 

Upon Elisha fell the mantle of 
Elijah. 

And likewise, the mantle of Joseph 
Smith fell on Brigham Young when 
he seemed to be transformed before 
the people who seemed to hear the 
voice of Joseph and see the person of 
Joseph. This remarkable miracle was 
attested to by great numbers of people. 
The mantle of Joseph fell from Brig- 
ham to John Taylor, to Wilford Wood- 
ruff, to Lorenzo Snow, to Joseph 
F. Smith, to Heber J. Grant, to George 



DECEMBER 1966 



1107 



Albert Smith, and to our Prophet 
today, President David O. McKay. 

Revelations have continued: Brother 
Merrill, president of the Logan Temple, 
received a comforting manifestation; 
Elder Melvin J. Ballard's call, as told 
by President Grant, was remarkable. 
President Joseph F. Smith's vision in 
1918 on the redemption of the dead 
was most comprehensive; the temple 
work for the signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence is illuminating; 
President Grant's Arizona experience 
is remarkable; Heber C. Kimball's ex- 
perience of unusual discernment in the 
Endowment House — these and numer- 
ous experiences of latter-day authorities 
all are testimony that, as George Q. 
Cannon said, there has never been a 
single minute since 1830 when the 
people were left without the revealed 
guidance of the Lord. (]D, Vol. 26, 
p. 64.) 

The Almighty is with this people. 
We shall have all the revelations that 
we shall need if we will do our duty 
and keep the commandments of God. 
If men could just realize that there 
may be sound even though few ears 
hear it. There are revelations even 
though most minds be materialistic 



and most hearts impenetrable. 

Remember that of all who traveled 
the "way to Damascus" that notable 
day, only Paul heard and recognized 
the face and voice of our Redeemer. 
And that of all the numerous profes- 
sionals and court attaches in Babylon's 
court, only Daniel received the dream 
of Nebuchadnezzar and its interpreta- 
tion; and while Belshazzar and others 
saw the handwriting on the wall, only 
the Prophet Daniel could give it 
meaning. 

Remember: 

If there be eyes to see, there will be 
visions to inspire. 

If there be ears to hear, there will 
be revelations to experience. 

If there be hearts which can under- 
stand, know this: that the exalting 
truths of Christ's gospel will no longer 
be hidden and mysterious, and all 
earnest seekers may know God and his 
program. 

I bear witness that there will never 
be an "end of the prophets," as implied 
in my Bible, but that Christ's Church 
moves on through the revelations of 
God to its divinely called leaders. 
This I know in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Obedience--the First Law of Heaven 

S. Dilworth Young 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• Many years ago President Charles 
W. Penrose of the First Presidency 
attended a sacrament meeting in 
Richards Ward in Salt Lake City. 
Just before the meeting commenced 
President Penrose walked down the 
aisle toward the pulpit, accompanied 
by the bishop. About halfway down 
he stopped, turned to the bishop, and 
inquired of him, "Who put that sign 
there?" "That sign" was a placard that 
was attached to the front of the pulpit 
and that read: 
"Order is the first law of heaven" 
The bishop didn't know but sup- 
posed that the sign had been installed 
by one of the auxiliaries. Nothing- 
more was said. The march down the 
aisle continued, and the meeting duly 
commenced. 

I do not know what subject Presi- 
dent Penrose intended to speak on 
when he arrived at the chapel, but 
when he arose to speak, he said that 
order is not the first law of heaven, 
but that obedience is. He spent the 
next 45 minutes marshalling instances 
and scripture to prove his thesis. The 
main point that impressed me, a boy 



at the time, was that by obedience 
order may be established and that 
without obedience there will be no 
order, but chaos. 

We are all familiar with the revela- 
tion given to Abraham concerning the 
purpose of the Lord God: 

"And there stood one among them 
that was like unto God, and he said 
unto those who were with him: We 
will go down, for there is space there, 
and we will take of these materials, 
and we will make an earth whereon 
these may dwell; 

"And we will prove them herewith, 
to see if they will do all things what- 
soever the Lord their God shall com- 
mand them." (Abr. 3:24-25.) 

We have learned that in order to 
obey the Lord we must obey his ser- 
vants. Each presiding officer is to be 
obeyed in righteousness, in the field of 
his presidency. And so it is clear that 
we obey the President of the Church, 
the president of the stake, the bishop 
of the ward, and president of the quo- 
rum, each in his field of service. And 
finally, forgotten by many as a re- 
quirement of heaven, is the necessity 



of obedience to our parents. 

Too many of our children do not 
realize that obedience to parents is a 
principle of the gospel. 

Young people feel some responsi- 
bility for obedience to the law of 
tithing and of obeying the law of the 
fast. They know they should attend 
Sunday School or MIA or Primary. 
They feel guilty if they do not attend 
sacrament meeting, and they generally 
know enough to understand that to 
break the law of chastity is to break 
the law of God. But too many of our 
children do not consider disobedience 
to their parents as breaking the law 
in the same manner as is breaking 
the law of tithing. The fault for this 
lack does not necessarily lie at the feet 
of the children. Children know what 
they are taught, and if they are not 
taught to understand and obey this 
first law of heaven, they cannot be 
expected to obey it. 

There is a clear scripture that has 
to do with this relationship: 

"... inasmuch as parents have 
children in Zion, or in any of her 
stakes which are organized, that teach 
them not to understand the doctrine 
of repentance, faith in Christ the Son 
of the living God, and of baptism and 
the gift of the Holy Ghost by the 
laying on of the hands, when eight 
years old, the sin be upon the heads 
of the parents." (D&C 68:25.) 

While this revelation does not spe- 
cifically mention all that should be 
taught to children, certainly it is clear 
that parents must teach if children are 
to obey the teaching. 

Home evenings and the daily asso- 
ciation with children provide the 
schoolroom for the teaching. While 
they are small, children should be 
taught to obey their parents and 
teachers. When they enter adolescence, 
it should be understood that with the 
addition of new freedom (growing up 
is a process of becoming progressively 
free) comes new responsibility of 
obedience to the laws upon which that 
freedom is predicated. The law is clear 
that children obey their parents in 
righteousness until they reach their 
legal maturity. This is not something 
to be enforced by the parents; it is 
rather an obligation to be voluntarily 
obeyed by the children. Children 
should be taught that they obey their 
parents in the same spirit that they 
pay tithing, attend sacrament meeting, 
or keep the fast once a month. 

It is a law of God. 

Our first parents set the example. 
After he left the garden with Eve, 
Adam heard the voice of the Lord 
over toward Eden, which commanded 
him to offer a sacrifice. The voice 
made no explanations but merely 
stated the command. Adam and Eve 
obeyed. 

It was a long time, during which 
they obeyed explicitly, before an angel 



1108 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



came and asked Adam why he of- 
fered sacrifices. His reply was short 
but truthful. 

"I know not, save the Lord com- 
manded me." (Moses 5:6.) 

In that reply is the example that 
should be followed by all children. If 
parents tell children to be in from a 
party at midnight, or that they may 
not have the car, or that such tight 
clothes must not be worn, or that 
dresses are too short, or that the allow- 
ance this month cannot be increased, 
or that the lawn must be cut on Satur- 
day, the reply of the children should 
be "we'll obey." The Lord didn't give 
Adam a reason. Children should not 
expect reasons from parents, although 
most parents are glad to tell their 
children the reasons. 

I marvel at the meticulous care 
with which the Lord conducts his 
affairs in obedience to the laws he 
himself establishes: 

Remember the night of September 
21, 1823, when Joseph Smith was vis- 
ited three times by Moroni, and how 
the next day Joseph, feeling ill, was 
sent home to rest. He crossed the fence 
and fainted. As he regained conscious- 
ness, there once more stood Moroni, 
who told him to go to his father and 
tell him all that had transpired. Why? 
For many reasons, one of which was 
that he had told Joseph to go to the 
Hill Cumorah. Joseph could not in 
righteousness leave that farm without 
his father's permission. That was the 
law. Generally it was enforced. So to 
leave the farm and go to the hill, 
Joseph had to obtain the approbation 
of his father. Upon completion of his 
account of what had happened, the 
father told him that- this was of God 
and to obey. 

I do not recall a single time that 
Joseph asked permission of his father 
to perform any act after he was 21. 
Until that time he was completely 
obedient. 

It is so with you and me and with 
our children. Let us, who are fathers, 
be engaged in the business of rearing 
children, teaching them the law of 
obedience to parents. 

Let children learn this law of God 
as a commandment to be obeyed. Let 
us also teach them that this is the 
great restoration of the gospel prom- 
ised by ancient prophets. Let us teach 
them that obedience to their parents, 
and to those who preside over them, 
from the quorum leader to the presi- 
dent of the Church, is the foundation 
of their future success in this world 
and their exaltation in the world to 
come. 

These are the last days. This is 
the last time. Through President 
McKay as prophet, seer, and revel ator 
we may hear the inspired word of the 
Lord God if we will but listen and 
obey. In the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



The Gospel Is Eternal I 
A New Witness to the Fact 

William J. Critchlow, Jr. 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• I have several storiettes to tell. A 
storiette is a brief story or tale. Mine 
are not tales. They are true stories 
greatly condensed and I employ them 
to make a point that I hope you will 
discover before I disclose it later on. 

Storiette #1: Less than a score of 
years ago, a 15-year-old Bedouin lad, 
tending a flock of goats in the desert 
on the western coast of the Dead Sea, 
threw a stone at a straying goat. The 
stone missed its target and fell into 
a cleft in a rocky cliff. He heard 
something break. Climbing up to in- 
vestigate, he found a cave filled with 
clay jars, one of which lay shattered 
by his stone. In the shattered jar were 
seven relatively intact Hebrew scrolls. 
These old documents provide scien- 
tific and historical information cover- 
ing a period of approximately 250 
years, dating from about 150 B.C. to 
about 100 A.D., a period about which 
very little is known. These scrolls, 
along with fragments of other scrolls 
since discovered, may, when fully 
translated, be worth their weight 
many, many times in gold. Scholars 
have predicted that their message will 
shake the faith of Christians all over 
the world. 

Storiette #2: These scrolls tell about 
a community of Hebrew people who 
lived near the shores of the Dead Sea, 
and who, prior to the birth of the 
Savior, believed, practiced, and taught 
doctrines and ordinances that also 
were a fundamental part of the teach- 
ings Christ taught a hundred or so 
years later. They had set up a religious 
organization similar to the one created 
years later by Jesus and his disciples. 
Presiding over it were 12 laymen and 
three priests. Functioning in it were 
bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons. 

"They practiced baptism by immer- 
sion. 

"They conducted their communal 
meal in a form similar to the Chris- 
tian Sacrament. 

"They taught brotherly love. 

"They believed in the coming of a 
prophet or Messiah. 

"They accepted the possibility of 
direct revelation. 

"They had joined in a new cove- 
nant. 

"They believed they belonged to a 



chosen people and practiced a form 
of communal living much as did the 
first Christians during the lifetime 
and soon after the crucifixion and 
resurrection of the Savior." (O. Pres- 
ton Robinson, How Old Is Christ's 
Gospel [Deseret Book Company, 
1963], p. 8.) 

The historian Josephus called these 
people the Essenes. Another name for 
them is the Dead Sea covenantors. 
They were Hebrew people of the 
Qumran period who, as you have just 
heard, practiced Christian principles 
and Christian ordinances years before 
Jesus came to earth. Shocking? Well, 
to Christian people who generally be- 
lieve that Jesus initiated and intro- 
duced these principles and ordinances 
at his coming, years later, I suppose 
it is. 

It is possible, thinks Dr. Yigael 
Yadin, a Hebrew scholar, that these 
people became converts when Christ 
appeared. "Who," he asks, "among 
all Hebrew people, were better pros- 
pects for conversion than they, whose 
teachings and ordinances were so 
similar to the Christ's?" Later, in the 
days of the Apostle Paul, when the 
people were slipping back to some of 
their original pre-Christ practices, Dr. 
Yadin suggests that it was to them 
that the Apostle Paul addressed his 
epistle to the Hebrews. 

Storiette #3: One of the Dead Sea 
scrolls, still only partially translated, 
contains a bit of history purportedly 
written by Abraham. Unlike the Book 
of Genesis story, Abraham tells in the 
first person how he was called by the 
Lord to go into Egypt and how in a 
dream he was instructed to tell the 
Egyptians that Sarah, his wife, was 
his sister. Abraham also tells how, by 
the laying on of hands — a gospel 
ordinance — Pharaoh was healed of an 
affliction that had come upon him 
when he had taken Sarah away from 
Abraham. Pharaoh asked for this 
blessing, obviously knowing that his 
own priests were without priesthood 
power. He undoubtedly knew, too, 
that an earlier pharaoh had sought 
the priesthood, and he certainly knew 
why it was denied him. But more 
about Abraham later in another 
storiette. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1109 



My next storiette involves a French- 
man by the name of Antonio Sebolo. 
About 135 years ago, while excavating 
in ancient catacombs in Egypt, he 
uncovered 11 well-preserved mummies 
which, because of their meticulous 
and expensive embalming, were 
thought to be persons of royalty. On 
his way to France with these mum- 
mies, he died. His will left them to a 
nephew, Michael H. Chandler, who 
received them at the port of New York. 
Bound to the chest of one of the 
mummies was something enclosed in 
tidy linen wrappings. If Mr. Chandler 
expected to find therein gold, silver, 
diamonds, or other precious stones, he 
must have been sadly disappointed 
when he removed the wrappings and 
found instead two well-preserved 
papyrus scrolls. He never suspected 
them to be very valuable; otherwise 
he would not have sold them, along 
with four of the mummies, to friends 
of Joseph Smith, the American 
prophet, for a rather modest but un- 
disclosed sum of money. Before selling 
them to Joseph Smith's friends, he 
exhibited them throughout the North- 
eastern States, where thousands of 
people viewed them. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith subse- 
quently translated the Egyptian 
characters on one of these scrolls and 
found them to be a fascinating first 
person, historical account of Father 
Abraham's activities, including his 
visit to Egypt. 

Unlike the discovery of the Dead 
Sea scrolls, which was heralded in 
newspaper headlines and in radio 
broadcasts throughout the world, this 
discovery by Joseph Smith received 
practically no publicity. It deserved 
news headlines. Its message, like the 
message of the Dead Sea scrolls, could 
also shake the faith of Christians 
throughout the world. A basic, hard- 
core Christian concept may crumble 
under the impact of its message if it 
ever receives the same consideration 
and acceptance now being accorded 
the Dead Sea scrolls. But more about 
that concept when I finish my story 
about the Egyptian scroll. 

An account in the Egyptian scroll 
discovered by Sebolo parallels inci- 
dents in Abraham's life, as related in 
the recently discovered Dead Sea 
scrolls. It thus confirms the Dead Sea 
scroll story. Conversely, the Dead 
Sea scroll story confirms the Egyptian 
scroll story. 

The Egyptian scroll reveals to the 
world the eternalness of the gospel. 

It reveals to the world a knowledge 
of our eternal existence. 

It tells about the grand council of 
the gods in heaven before the earth 
was peopled. 

It tells about the presentation of the 
gospel plan to his spirit children before 
they came to earth. 

It tells about the selection of Jesus 



to be the administrator of the gospel 
plan on earth, the purveyor of the 
gospel throughout the world, from 
Adam on down. 

It discloses Jesus to be the Savior 
of the world. 

It tells how one (Lucifer) rejected 
the gospel plan in that council of the 
gods. 

It discloses the gospel to have had 
its origin before the foundations of 
the earth were laid, and it thus con- 
firms again the Dead Sea scroll story 
or expose, i.e., principles of Christ's 
gospel, his teachings, and some of the 
ordinances were on the earth before 
Christ came in the flesh. 

We have been told that "in the 
mouth of two or three witnesses shall 
every word be established." (2 Cor. 
13:1.) 

Two witnesses to the fact that the 
gospel is eternal are: (1) the Egyptian 
scroll (Pearl of Great Price) and (2) 
the Dead Sea scrolls. 

We have additional witnesses which 
scholars, delving the scrolls, ought to 
examine: 

The story on the golden plates 
(Book of Mormon) is a third and most 
impressive witness. 

The writings of Moses contained in 
the Pearl of Great Price is a fourth 
and very special witness. 

The Doctrine and Covenants adds 
a wealth of persuasive evidence that 
the gospel is eternal, that Jesus is the 
Son of God. 

Furthermore, every Bible student 
knows that prophets foretold the 
Savior's coming and testified that he 
was the Son of God and that his gos- 
pel was for everyone. The "Jewish 
Talmud makes it plain that baptism," 
a gospel ordinance, "was required for 
admission to the Church." (Dr. Alfred 
Edersheim, The Life and Times of 
Jesus the Messiah, Vol. 2, p. 745.) 
Other ancient writings, such as the 
books of the Apocrypha, excluded from 
the Bible, provide evidence that a 
messiah would come to bring his gos- 
pel, even the same gospel that had 
been taught to Adam, Enoch, Noah, 
Abraham, Moses, and others. 

Why, then — in the face of all this 
historical evidence to the fact that 
much of what we now know as Chris- 
tianity was taught and practiced by 
prophets, religious teachers, and 
religious groups prior to the advent of 
Jesus on the earth — is it that this 
knowledge was not, and presently is 
not, widespread among the lay mem- 
bers of Christian churches? 

Dr. R. H. Charles, an eminent 
scholar and writer on ancient Hebrew 
history, believes that some of the books 
rejected as scripture "fell under the 
ban of such authorities as Hilary, 
Jerome and Augustine," who, he 
thinks, were concerned about their 
contents. "These three men . . . exerted 
a tremendous influence on what was 



accepted or rejected as scripture, [and] 
were probably disturbed about the 
Christian doctrine that some of these 
books taught long before the time of 
the Savior. Having no knowledge of 
the eternal nature of the gospel and 
of Christ's authorship of it before this 
world was organized, . . . [they] could 
have feared that the Christian nature 
of these books would disturb the faith 
of lay church members" and they 
therefore suppressed them. (Robinson, 
How Old Is Christ's Gospel, p. 36.) 
The Christian concept today is exactly 
what it was in their day, namely, the 
gospel was initiated and first intro- 
duced to the world by Jesus at his 
coming nearly 2,000 years ago. 

I began this address by promising 
storiettes that I said would develop a 
point. Jesus employed storiettes to 
develop a point, usually a moral. His 
storiettes are called parables. A parable 
is a fictitious story. My storiettes are 
true, and the point I promised to make 
is, I hope, by now obvious. Simply, 
it is this: Jesus came in the flesh not 
to initiate and introduce his gospel 
but to restore it. The gospel of Jesus 
Christ is eternal. 

Provoking this talk were the radio 
remarks of a Protestant minister who 
said that there were two basic, hard- 
core concepts common to and charac- 
teristic of all Christian creeds or 
churches. One, he said, is a "belief in 
a God to whom no physical charac- 
teristics can be ascribed"; the other, a 
belief that Jesus came to earth to 
introduce and "establish his gospel" 
and that the Christian churches are 
agencies to promote it. 

I wish I had time now to discuss 
his God concept. I've already said 
enough about the other concept — 
introducing and establishing the gos- 
pel — to make my point. 

The impact of the message of the 
Dead Sea scrolls upon the Christian 
churches could be, as I said before, 
faith-shaking. To support that state- 
ment, I submit to you comments by 
eminent scholars. 

One said: "Christianity, we must 
now see, instead of being a faith once 
for all delivered to the Saints in the 
Judea of the First Century, is a devel- 
opment of one branch of Judaism into 
a religion which presently, when 
mingled with other religions in the 
gentile world, developed by natural 
evolution into the religious system . . . 
that we know today. . . . Christianity, 
Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism — 
all high religions, no matter what 
their claims — have grown in natural 
ways." (A. Powell Davies, The Mean- 
ing of the Dead Sea Scrolls, pp. 120, 
131.) 

Another eminent scholar has writ- 
ten: "Surely with the evidence at hand, 
any fair-minded Christian should 
admit that Jesus was not a miraculous 
incarnation of a Son of God, pre- 



1 1 10 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



existent in the heavens and sent to 
earth as the long awaited Messiah. . . . 
The [Dead Sea] scrolls . . . [restore] 
the man Jesus to the world as a great 
teacher who learned from Hebrew 
prophets, from the Essene teachers, 
from the great thinkers of the Greek 
Alexandrian cultures of his time. He 
thought it all over and created his 
own message from the best of all he 
had studied, and finally dramatized it 
as the suffering servant, Savior, Son of 
Man." (Dr. Charles Francis Potter, 
The Lost Years of Jesus Revealed, 
p. 11.) 

Another scholar declared the scrolls 
to be "medieval forgeries." (News- 
week, June 15, 1966, p. 67.) Still an- 
other scholar suggests that they don't 
make sense. "Actually they make very 
good sense, but it is a sense quite 
contrary to conventional ideas of 
Judaism and Christianity." (Hugh 
Nibley, An Approach to the Book of 
Mormon, [Deseret Book Company, 
1964], p. 64.) 

Repudiating the scrolls is one way 
of preserving that dominant hard-core 
Christian concept that my radio friend 
said was common to, and character- 
istic of, all Christian churches. But 
truth crushed to earth shall rise again. 

Our own O. Preston Robinson sums 
up the reaction of these scholars as 
follows: 



"Faced with the overwhelming 
evidence of the Gospel's antiquity and 
bereft of a knowledge of Christ's 
original authorship of it, these scholars 
flounder in uncertainty and can only 
conclude that Christ was a great 
teacher, an imitator, but not in reality 
the Son of God. If Jesus was nothing 
more than a clever teacher utilizing 
the ideas and principles promulgated 
by others before him, he would neces- 
sarily have been one of the world's 
most deceptive frauds." (How Old Is 
Christ's Gospel? p. 5.) 

My personal reaction is this: If these 
floundering scroll scholars, if these 
confused Christian leaders would take 
time out to examine the other wit- 
nesses that I have cited, particularly 
the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of 
Great Price, and the Doctrine and 
Covenants, they could help a frus- 
trated church membership restore 
Jesus Christ to the status of a Son of 
God, the very Savior of all mankind. 
He did come in the flesh, nearly 2,000 
years ago, to restore his gospel which, 
after his death and the death of his 
apostles, was lost to the world. But, 
thanks to a merciful God, it has been 
restored again in this latter day 
through the great American Prophet 
Joseph Smith. To this I bear my 
humble witness, in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



The Temples of God 

Theodore M. Burton 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• Among the ancient Israelites, the 
temple of God was the pivotal point 
around which the whole nation re- 
volved. This building was considered 
to be the house of the Lord and was 
made as beautiful as man could make 
it, for it was to be a place to which 
God could come on the earth to reveal 
his will to his prophet. Thus, to be 
near the temple was a blessing, and 
to go into it was a great privilege. 
However, not all the people were per- 
mitted to go into the temple. This 
right was limited only to the priests, 
and only the high priest could go into 
the inner court. There were un- 
doubtedly some in that day who 
thought this practice was discrimina- 
tory, but that was the word of the 
Lord, and it was obeyed. 

So modern temples constructed by 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints are built as houses of the 
Lord and are as beautiful as we can 



make them in a simple, dignified man- 
ner. Entrance to these temples is 
restricted to those who have proved 
their faithfulness and loyalty to God, 
and the temple serves as a pivotal 
point in our belief, being a place of 
revelation of the will of God to man. 

Let us consider the need for temples 
in our day. First let us consider life 
itself. Life on this earth is beautiful 
and wonderful, despite some of the 
terrible things that happen. A new- 
born infant is truly a wonder, and a 
little child is easy to love. Instinc- 
tively we love all little ones. But did 
the total life of that infant begin at 
birth, or will it cease at death? Rea- 
son and instinct tell us otherwise. 
Talents and potentials and spiritual 
gifts differ from child to child. 

Where did these differences come 
from? We claim they were brought 
here as a result of a previous life. 
This previous life, lived in the spirit, 



is the basis of the present talents and 
gifts that we now enjoy. A premortal 
existence can explain much of life 
and can account for the differences that 
we see around us in mortal life. How 
otherwise could God be just? — for there 
is no question that people differ, and 
there is no question in my mind but 
that God is just and merciful to all 
his children. 

This belief in a previous life is 
based on scripture. When the Lord 
called the prophet Jeremiah he said: 

"Before I formed thee in the belly 
I knew thee; and before thou earnest 
forth out of the womb I sanctified 
thee, and I ordained thee a prophet 
unto the nations." (Jer. 1:5.) 

This doctrine of a premortal life 
must have been taught by Jesus, for 
his apostles used this teaching to ask a 
question: 

"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a 
man which was blind from his birth. 

"And his disciples asked him, saying, 
Master, who did sin, this man, or his 
parents, that he was born blind?" 
(John 9:1-2.) 

How could the man have sinned 
before birth unless he had lived be- 
fore? Life on this earth is a gift of 
God given to us as a reward for 
previous virtue. But his disciples 
failed to understand that so-called 
curses are oftentimes blessings. Jesus 
reminded them of the danger of pass- 
ing judgment based on mortal existence 
alone: 

"Jesus answered, Neither hath this 
man sinned, nor his parents: but that 
the works of God should be made 
manifest in him." (John 9:3.) 

Note that he did not rebuke them 
for this doctrine, but merely told them 
not to pass judgment on people based 
on what we can see and experience 
as mortal beings. As spirit children 
of God, we covenanted to agree to 
accept this life. But life on this earth 
does have a purpose, and much of 
what we experience in this life is 
based on the kind of life we led 
before we came here. One thing we 
can state with confidence: God will 
give an opportunity to every man to 
make the best use of whatever life 
he was assigned in his mortal station. 
God has made it possible for us to 
find on this earth the reason for 
existence and has given or will give 
every man, every woman, every child 
born upon this earth an opportunity 
to make a new and everlasting cove- 
nant with him to accept Jesus Christ 
as a living Lord and Savior. 

Just as this life depends upon the 
previous life, so this life is most im- 
portant for the future, for life here- 
after depends upon our life here in 
mortality. Jesus has shown us the 
actuality of the resurrection. We 
have overwhelming testimony of eter- 
nal life. It is not some mysterious 
nirvana, but an eternal life in the 



DECEMBER 1966 



1111 



flesh that we will receive as indi- 
vidual beings. Life, therefore, fol- 
lows death as dawn follows darkness, 
breaking forth into the light of a 
perfect day. What kind of life will 
this be for you? The ancient prophet 
wrote: 

"Now behold, I have spoken unto 
you concerning the death of the 
mortal body, and also concerning the 
resurrection of the mortal body. I 
say unto you that this mortal body is 
raised to an immortal body, that is 
from death, even from the first death 
unto life, that they can die no more; 
their spirits uniting with their bodies, 
never to be divided; thus the whole 
becoming spiritual and immortal, that 
they can no more see corruption." 
(Al. 11:45.) 

The prophet warned us, therefore, 
to do something about this now, while 
there is time left to us, and not delay 
our repentance, which is the way we 
change from our present lives to a 
better way of life. He told us: 

"Ye cannot say, when ye are brought 
to that awful crisis [that is, standing 
before the judgment seat of God] that 
I will repent, that I will return to my 
God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that 
same spirit which doth possess your 
bodies at the time that ye go out of 
this life, that same spirit will have 
power to possess your body in that 
eternal world." (Al. 34:34.) 

What he is trying to say is that 
although repentance later on is not 
impossible, it is certainly more diffi- 
cult than it is right here in mortality. 

May I then ask you now, "What 
kind of a life will you have in the 
hereafter?" I can answer this ques- 
tion for you quickly. "You will have 
the kind of life you earned here." 
You chose the life you are now leading. 
Are you happy with it? Would you 
like to improve it? You can, you know. 
You can choose your life hereafter, and 
you will have to live whatever kind 
of life you choose. Just as this life 
could have been beautiful for all, had 
we been willing to pay the price, so 
life hereafter can be beautiful for all. 
I ask you to look around you. Will 
your life be beautiful? 

Do you love your wife or husband 
here? Has your marriage here been 
wonderful? Do you love your chil- 
dren — I mean really love them? Do 
you love your father? Your mother? 
Has your family life been a joyful, 
happy one? If not, then get started 
to work on it to make that life beau- 
tiful. It will take effort, to be sure, 
but it is worth all the work and energy 
it takes. 

If your family life has been beauti- 
ful and happy, you will want your 
loved ones near you hereafter. How 
happy could life be without those we 
love? Could you be happy alone? 
No one can, to be sure, and therefore 
the need for eternal companionship. 



I won't be happy without my family 
and loved ones, and neither will you, 
for real love should never die. 

How can you tie this family to you? 
This is the goal of priesthood gene- 
alogy. All our efforts are to seal 
this union right here on earth. This 
power was given to his apostles by 
the Lord when he said: 

"Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever 
ye shall bind on earth shall be bound 
in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall 
loose on earth shall be loosed in 
heaven." (Matt. 18:18.) 

These marriages cannot be united 
in heaven, but must be done right 
here on this earth. Jesus rebuked 
those who thought this could be done 
later when he said: 

"Ye do err, not knowing the scrip- 
tures, nor the power of God. 

"For in the resurrection they neither 
marry, nor are given in marriage, but 
are as the angels of God in heaven." 
(Matt. 22:29-30.) 

This sealing must be done in tem- 
ples of God erected specifically for 
this holy ordinance. Hence there is 
a need to build temples of God in our 
day. 

Priesthood genealogy is not just 
seeking records of dead ancestors 
alone. It involves the completion of 
these temple ordinances. Priesthood 
genealogy is a work for the living, 
for those who are dead shall also live 
again. It is to make possible family 
life after death that we gather these 
records and do this ordinance work in 



temples for our family members while 
we are still in mortality. We prove 
our love for our dear ones by first 
sealing our own family to us in the 
temples of God built for that pur- 
pose. Then we prove our love for 
our family by doing a useful service 
for them in their behalf — sealing them 
to us here on earth by the sealing 
power of the priesthood of God. 

Thus the gospel permits love to be- 
come in our lives a reality that can 
exist throughout all eternity. It is 
love and spirituality at their very best. 
The key to true spirituality is priest- 
hood genealogy. We invite you to 
prove your love for those you hold 
dear. Is your grief and longing for a 
loved one real? Do you love a wife 
enough to want her with you forever? 
Do you love a child enough to save 
it? If you do, then first perfect your- 
selves sufficiently so you can qualify 
to go into the temple and there do for 
them the work that will bind them 
to you forever. 

God bless you to catch the spirit 
of Elijah, which was given in this dis- 
pensation along with the binding 
power to bind together the hearts of 
men in love one for another. This 
is the way life was meant to be. It 
is the basic doctrine of The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I 
know that it is the divine method by 
which Jesus Christ can exalt us into 
the presence of God the Eternal Father, 
and I bear you this witness in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Resurrection 

John Longden 

Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• It is the aim and responsibility of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints to present the statement of 
the scriptures, which are clear in de- 
claring the actual resurrection of the 
body. 

Christ is the first-fruits of the resur- 
rection and the pattern of what is an 
eternal principle applicable to all man- 
kind. As he took up the same body 
that was laid in the tomb, so will all 
the human family receive a renewal, 
each of his own body. The change is 
that the blood, which is the life of the 
mortal body, will not occupy the im- 
mortal one. ". . . flesh and blood 
cannot inherit the kingdom of 
God. ..." (1 Cor. 15:50.) 

It is evident, however, that flesh and 
bones occupied by immortal spirit can 



inherit the kingdom of God, for Jesus 
was the type and example. After his 
resurrection, he appeared unto many. 
He said to his disciples when they were 
"affrighted, and supposed that they had 
seen a spirit": 

"Behold my hands and my feet, that 
it is I myself: handle me, and see; 
for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, 
as ye see me have." (Luke 24:37, 39.) 

He then showed them his hands and 
feet, which had been pierced with 
spikes in the terrible hour of his cruci- 
fixion. While he was with them, he 
called for food; and they gave him 
broiled fish and honeycomb, which he 
ate in their presence. 

What could be more real or tangible 
than this? When he was resurrected, 
many others received the same glorious 



11 12 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



blessing and came bodily out of their 
graves. 

"And the graves were opened; and 
many bodies of the saints which slept 
arose, 

"And came out of the graves after 
his resurrection, and went into the holy 
city, and appeared unto many." (Matt. 
27:52-53.) 

These, undoubtedly, were the bodies 
of the righteous who had embraced 
the gospel in the various dispensations 
prior to the coming and atonement of 
our Lord and Savior. The ante- 
diluvians who rejected Noah were not 
among this number. Peter informs us 
that the Messiah, when put to death 
in the flesh, was quickened by the 
Spirit: 

"By which also he went and 
preached unto the spirits in prison; 

"Which sometime were disobedient, 
when once the long suffering of God 
waited in the days of Noah. ..." (1 
Pet. 3:18-20.) 

The Savior himself said to his 
disciples: 

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The 
hour is coming, and now is, when the 
dead shall hear the voice of the Son 
of God: and they that hear shall live." 
(John 5:25.) 

John the Revel ator declared: 

"And I saw the dead, small and 
great, stand before God; and the books 
were opened, and another book was 
opened, which is the book of life: 
and the dead were judged out of those 
things which were written in the books, 
according to their works." (Rev. 
20:12.) 

Nothing could be more literal, more 
tangible, more real than this, nothing 
more just. The righteous are to come 
forth and enjoy absolute peace and 
freedom from the tribulations heaped 
upon them by the wicked, untram- 
meled with trials brought upon them 
by Lucifer, free from sickness, sin, and 
sorrow, living in the personal presence 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, in full en- 
joyment of the earth and all its glory. 

No wonder Job rejoiced in all his 
afflictions because his soul was en- 
lightened with the visions of the fu- 
ture. Notwithstanding his bodily pains 
and the annoyance of friends who at- 
tributed his afflictions to his own 
failings, he claimed from the depths 
of his soul: 

"Oh, that my words were now writ- 
ten! oh that they were printed in a 
book! 

"That they were graven with an iron 
pen ... in the rock for ever! 

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, 
and that he shall stand at the latter 
day upon the earth: 

"And though after my skin worms 
destroy this body, yet in my flesh 
shall I see God: 

"Whom I shall see for myself, and 
mine eyes shall behold, and not an- 
other; though my reins be consumed 



within me." (Job 19:23-27.) 

Undoubtedly, this great and good 
man was resurrected when the Messiah 
was and received a partial fulfillment 
of this glorious vision, but whatever 
was lacking in the full realities of the 
prophecy will be complete when the 
Son of man shall come in his glory 
to reign on the earth. 

Paul, speaking to the Thessalonians, 
said: 

"For if we believe that Jesus died 
and rose again, even so them also 
which sleep in Jesus will God bring 
with him." 

"For the Lord himself shall descend 
from heaven with a shout, with the 
voice of the archangel, and with the 
trump of God: and the dead in Christ 
shall rise first." (I Thes. 4:14, 16.) 

This agrees with the testimonies al- 
ready quoted from the Savior and the 
Apostle John in reference to the resur- 
rection. 

In modern revelation, the Lord said 
to the Prophet Joseph Smith: 

"And the Lord appeared unto them, 
and they rose up and blessed Adam, 
and called him Michael, the prince, 
the archangel." (D&C 107:54.) 

The chief apostle, Peter, taught: 

"Him God raised up the third day, 
and shewed him openly; 

"Not to all the people, but unto 
witnesses chosen before of God, even 
to us, who did eat and drink with 
him after he rose from the dead. 

"And he commanded us to preach 
unto the people, and to testify that 
it is he which was ordained of God 
to be the Judge of quick and dead." 
(Acts 10:40-42.) 

It is evident that the burden of the 
teachings and testimonies of the apos- 
tles was to establish the divinity of 
the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
This necessarily included his atone- 
ment and resurrection. The fall of 
pur first parents brought not only a 
banishment from the presence of the 
Lord, which may be termed a spiritual 
death, but it caused the death of the 
physical body. When an atonement 
was wrought out as a redemption from 
that fall, it would be incomplete un- 
less it brought to pass immortality 
and eternal life to the body. 

The spirit and the body are the soul 
of man. The body is resurrected from 
the grave independent, whether the 
individual was in this life good or 
bad, as is shown by the declaration of 
scripture: 

"For as in Adam all die, even so 
in Christ shall all be made alive." 
(I Cor. 15:22.) 

Paul describes in a very definite 
way the degrees of glory in the resur- 
rection, which vindicates the justice of 
God and rewards man according to 
his works, thus establishing the free 
agency of man by holding him per- 
sonally accountable for every act of 
his life. 



"There are also celestial bodies, 
and bodies terrestrial: but the glory 
of the celestial is one, and the 
glory of the terrestrial is another. 

"There is one glory of the sun, and 
another glory of the moon, and an- 
other glory of the stars: for one star 
differs from another star in glory. 

"So also is the resurrection of the 
dead. . . ." (I Cor. 15:40-42.) 

Jesus said to the apostles: 

"In my Father's house are many 
mansions: if it were not so, I would 
have told you. I go to prepare a place 
for you. 

". . . that where I am, there ye may 
be also." (John 14:2-3.) 

These assertions all agree that there 
has been a resurrection (so far as they 
refer to the resurrection of Jesus and 
those who came forth from their graves 
at the same time). The only reason- 
able conclusion to be reached by read- 
ing these testimonies is that the 
resurrection will be an actual reunion 
of the spirit and the body. 

Should there still be doubt in the 
mind of anyone that there seems to 
be a deficiency in the conclusions from 
the statements quoted, may I suggest 
you read the account of the resurrec- 
tion from the inspired writings of 
Ezekiel. Please read the entire 37th 
chapter of Ezekiel. The words of this 
prophet should dispel any doubt. 

To the Latter-day Saints, the doc- 
trine of the resurrection is a living, 
tangible reality, because added to the 
testimonies of the Jewish scriptures, 
the Old and the New testaments, 
and the Book of Mormon, which cor- 
raborates the Bible, we have the 
testimony of men in this day who have 
seen the living bodies of resurrected 
beings. Joseph Smith was a man of un- 
blemished character. His veracity was 
never impeached. His honor in re- 
ligion, in morality, and in business 
transactions, as attested by friend 
and foe, was unsullied to the end of 
his mortal career, when he sealed 
his testimony with his innocent blood. 
His testimony is that he saw God 
the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, 
the latter on several occasions. 

One such visitation was experienced 
by Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and 
Oliver Cowdery, in the temple at Kirt- 
land, Ohio, April 3, 1836. The occa- 
sion was that of a Sabbath day 
meeting. The Prophet prefaces his 
record of the manifestations with these 
words : 

"In the afternoon, I assisted the other 
presidents in distributing the Lord's 
Supper to the Church, receiving it from 
the Twelve, whose privilege it was to 
officiate at the sacred desk this day. 
After having performed this service to 
my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, 
the veils being dropped, and bowed 
myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in 
solemn and silent prayer. After rising 
from prayer, the following vision was 



DECEMBER 1966 



1113 



opened to both of us. . . ." (D&C 110, 
introduction.) 

"The veil was taken from our minds, 
and the eyes of our understanding were 
opened. 

"We saw the Lord standing upon 
the breastwork of pulpit, before us; 
and under his feet was a paved work 
of pure gold, in color like amber. 

"His eyes were as a flame of fire; 
the hair of his head was white like 
the pure snow; his countenance shone 
above the brightness of the sun; and 
his voice was as the sound of the rush- 
ing of great waters, even the voice of 
Jehovah, saying: 

"I am the first and the last; L am 
he who liveth, I am he who was slain; 
I am your advocate with the Father." 
(D&C 110:1-4.) 

Joseph Smith also had a visitation 
from John the Baptist, from Peter, 
James, and John, from Moses, Elijah, 
Moroni, and other ancient prophets of 
God who lived on the eastern or west- 
ern hemispheres. He was not alone 
in being a witness to the existence of 
resurrected beings. Others in modern 
times also have seen these and have 
published their testimonies to the 
world. Those who have received the 
witness of the Holy Ghost and who 
also know that there is a resurrection 
and that the words of the Savior and 



the prophets are true and faithful are 
numbered in the thousands. 

This is my testimony of the subject. 
I testify in the name of the resurrected 
Redeemer that God has spoken from 
the heavens in this age of tbe world; 
that Jesus Christ is the son of God, the 
Redeemer of the world; that Joseph 
Smith was a prophet of the Most High 
and received the revelations of God for 
the benefit of mankind; that angels 
and ancient prophets visited him and 
delivered to him the keys of the dis- 
pensation of the fullness of times; that 
Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford 
Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. 
Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert 
Smith — each in his time has been the 
successor of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
and that David O. McKay is now such 
successor. I also testify that all who 
receive this gospel with honest heart 
shall know that the doctrine is true, 
and if they are faithful unto death 
they shall come forth in the resurrec- 
tion of the righteous, to live and reign 
with Christ a thousand years. 

Certainly these scriptures give evi- 
dence that God is not dead. He lives. 
Jesus Christ lives; and I further testi- 
fy and bear witness to the reality 
of the resurrection for all mortal 
beings, in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, our Savior. Amen. 



Seeking Peace and Happiness 

Milton R. Hunter 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• "Happiness is the object and design 
of our existence; and will be the end 
thereof, if we pursue the path that 
leads to it; and this path is virtue, 
uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and 
keeping all of God's commandments." 
These are the words of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith. (Joseph Fielding Smith, 
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
pp. 255-256.) 

An ancient American prophet de- 
clared: "Adam fell that men might be; 
and men are, that they might have 
joy." (2 Ne. 2:25.) 

Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Man's 
highest duty is to be happy." 

Thus it is reasonable to believe that 
man's highest duty is to obey the laws 
of the land and the laws of God in 
order that he might attain the happi- 
ness that he desires. Our Lord Jesus 
Christ came into the world to show 
us through his teachings and his life 
how to live an abundant life. In 
modern revelation, he gave us the 



formula by which we should live in 
order to be supremely happy. He 
declared: "For you shall live by every 
word that proceedeth forth from the 
mouth of God." (D&C 84:44.) 

By so doing, men do not offend 
other men, nor do they offend God, 
but live in perfect harmony and peace 
with each other at all times. Kind- 
ness and love predominate in all their 
actions. Constantly they do unto 
others as they desire other people to 
do unto them. In fact, the measure 
of a people's happiness comes in pro- 
portion to the amount of love they 
have in their hearts for their fellow- 
men. Also, those righteous people 
love God with all their hearts, might, 
mind, and strength. The men and 
women who have most nearly com- 
plied with God's commandment to 
"live by every word that proceedeth 
forth from" his mouth know the joys 
and sweetness derived therefrom. (See 
D&C 84:44.) By living this way, they 



have attained the condition described 
by the poet James Russell Lowell. To 
quote: 

"Now the heart is so full that a drop 
overfills it, 

We are happy now because God wills 
it." 

(James Russell Lowell, "The Vision 
of Sir Launfal," One Hundred and 
One Famous Poems, Chicago, 1958, 
p. 18.) 

Satan however, has never exerted 
more influence among the children of 
men than he is exerting throughout 
the world today to bring about sin 
and misery and the destruction of the 
human race. Wars, strife, hate, greed, 
selfishness, and all sorts of evil exist 
everywhere. Crime is on the increase 
throughout the nation, especially 
among the youth. Murder, adultery, 
robbery, traffic in drugs, and numerous 
other crimes are reported daily in the 
newspapers. 

The world is in such a condition 
today that evil is ofttimes presented 
on television and radio, in the movies, 
in books, magazines, and newspapers 
as if it were virtue and good. An 
author recently wrote: 

"No one can read and savor the 
kind of printed material, pictures, and 
shows which present lurid and sordid 
aspects of life and remain pure in 
thought and mind." ("Defining Ob- 
scenity," Destiny, Vol. 37 (1966), p. 
150.) 

Attitudes toward homosexuality have 
been liberalized in England, and in 
many cities in the United States some 
lawmakers, clergymen, and social 
leaders are clamoring for a liberal 
attitude in our land. 

Violent race riots have occurred 
during recent years throughout the 
United States. Both white leaders 
and Negro leaders have been respon- 
sible for stirring up social conflicts 
through hate tactics. The love that 
Jesus Christ established as the basic 
element in Christianity seems to have 
vanished from the hearts of many 
people. That some are trying to re- 
place love with a satanic doctrine is 
evidenced by one of its leaders: "Down 
with love of one's neighbor. What we 
want is hate. Only then shall we 
conquer the universe." 

The spread of poisonous hate, strife, 
and internal conflicts has also gone 
into college campuses, with the result 
that some — even though a small 
minority — of the youth of our land are 
engaging in rioting and defiance of 
law. The most drastic case yet to 
occur was at the University of Cali- 
fornia at Berkeley. Here even some 
of the professors participated. 

One hundred thirty-three years ago 
the Lord said to an American prophet, 
". . . tobacco ... is not good for 
man." (D&C 89:8.) Doctors and 



11 14 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



scientists now maintain that cigarettes 
are the principal cause of many deaths 
from cancer, especially of the lungs, 
throat, and mouth. Thus modern 
scientists have sustained the word of 
the Lord. 

Since members of The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
accept the Word of Wisdom as a law 
from God to the Church, this law 
comes within the spiritual realm of 
their lives, and so the spiritual effects 
that tobacco has upon church mem- 
bers may be more disastrous than the 
physical damage. The use of tobacco 
helps to drive away the Holy Ghost 
and deprives one from the ordinances 
of the priesthood and thus from 
exaltation. 

The devil has never found a better 
tool in the history of the world to 
destroy the happiness of human beings 
than liquor. It is a companion of 
prostitution, an associate of gambling, 
a friend of murder, robbery, poverty, 
and divorce. In fact, liquor is a com- 
panion of all the bad and sordid things 
one finds in life. Of course, with all of 
these evils come unhappiness, sorrow, 
regret, and grief. The use of liquor, 
then, results in the opposite of joy. 
As an ancient prophet declared: ". . . 
wickedness never was happiness." 
(Al. 41:10.) 

God is our Father. We are his 
spirit children. He placed us here 
upon this earth and gave us the privi- 
lege of parenthood. He gave us the 
divine laws by which our earthly 
parenthood should operate: namely, 
the laws of love, purity of heart, chas- 
tity, celestial marriage, and family 
life. 

The greatest joys in all of life and 
throughout all of eternity come in con- 
nection with the love that husbands 
have for wives, wives have for hus- 
bands, children have for parents, and 
parents have for children. The 
service and sacrifices thai each mem- 
ber of the family renders to each 
other member are the jewels of which 
the joys of life are made. In fact, all 
the experiences of home life when 
lived according to God's plan bring 
supreme happiness into the hearts and 
lives of righteous family members. 

As a final reward, the Lord promises 
that righteous people who are sealed 
by the Holy Spirit of Promise will 
eventually come back into his presence 
and receive eternal life. 

One of the most terrible counter- 
feits of happy family life is sexual 
immorality. Some people who dese- 
crate the fountain of life by committing 
adultery have grief enter their hearts. 
The guilt of conscience ofttimes is 
almost unbearable. The adulterers, 
the whoremongers, and all who are 
impure in heart lose their ability for 
full, complete, and pure love and 
appreciation of the finer things of life. 
Their lives become filled with sorrow 




and shame, and if they do not repent, 
eventually in the world to come they 
will be banished from the presence of 
God. 

Let us quote from the prophets of 
the Lord on this subject. An ancient 
American prophet named Alma said 
to his son, Corianton, who had com- 
mitted adultery: 

"Know ye not, my son, that these 
things are an abomination in the sight 
of the Lord; yea, most abominable 
above all sins save it be the shedding 
of innocent blood or denying the Holy 
Ghost?" (Al. 39:5.) 

From the positive viewpoint, Paul's 
admonition is excellent. He wrote: 
"If you believe in goodness and if you 
value the approval of God, fix your 
minds on the things which are holy 
and right and pure and beautiful and 
good." (Phil. 4:8, as translated By 
A. B. Phillips.) 

In modern revelation, the Lord de- 
clared: 

"Let thy bowels also be full of 
charity towards all men, and to the 
household of faith, and let virtue 
garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then 
shall thy confidence wax strong in 
the presence of God: and the doctrine 
of the priesthood shall distill upon thy 
soul as the dews from heaven. 

"The Holy Ghost shall be thy con- 
stant companion, and thy scepter an 
unchanging scepter of righteousness 
and truth. . . ." (D&C 121:45-46.) 

Our Savior declared to a modern 
prophet: ". . . he who doeth works 
of righteousness shall receive his re- 
ward, even peace in this world, and 
eternal life in the world to come." 
(D&C 59:23.) 

The peace spoken of by the Lord 
in this modern revelation is the peace 
that results from a clear conscience. 
It is that peace which comes when one 
stands void of offense against God and 
man. It is that peace which Christ 
promised his ancient apostles. Paul 
wrote to the Philippians: ". . . the 
peace of God, . . . passeth all under- 
standing. . . ." (Phil. 4:7.) 



Paul also described accurately the 
peace and happiness of the righteous 
person when he defined the fruit of 
the Spirit. To quote: 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, 
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance 
. . . ." (Gal. 5:22-23.) 

If all people would accept and live 
the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, 
their hearts would throb with a sweet 
peace, a divine love, and an exquisite 
joy. Thus all covetousness, hate, greed, 
envy, stealing, lust, adultery, whore- 
doms, strife, riots, war, and all other 
sordid and evil acts would cease. Men 
would love God and man with all 
their hearts. A perfect condition of 
peace and righteousness would prevail 
throughout the world. The King of 
kings could come and reign. The only 
hope for this wicked world, therefore, 
is for its people to repent and accept 
and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Time and time again, the ancient 
American prophets declared that at 
the resurrection righteous people will 
rise from their graves into a state of 
everlasting happiness. Paul, the an- 
cient apostle, described it this way: 

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither have entered into the heart of 
man, the things which God hath 
prepared for them that love him." (1 
Cor. 2:9.) 

These statements are exactly in 
accordance with the words in Ecclesi- 
astes : 

"Fear God, and keep his command- 
ments: for this is the whole duty of 
man. 

"For God shall bring every work 
into judgment, with every secret thing, 
whether it be good, or whether it be 
evil." (Ecc. 12:13-14.) 

Let us live in such a way that we 
shall have inward peace and exquisite 
joy in such abundance that it passeth 
our understanding, and let us at all 
times give God the honor and glory 
for all the blessings we receive, I 
humbly pray. In the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1115 



The Fulfillment of Prophecy 

LeGrand Richards 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• It is a great pleasure, brothers and 
sisters, to share this wonderful con- 
ference with you. I love the Latter- 
day Saints. I appreciate your kindness 
to me as I travel to your stakes and 
some of the missions, and it is a 
glorious thing to meet you as you 
come here in our midst to attend this 
conference. 

In President McKay's inspired talk 
this morning, after outlining some of 
the advantages that we have in the 
day in which we are privileged to live, 
he said, "It is a joy to live in this age." 
I have thought a lot about that, and I 
think that we all feel that way about 
it. And then I thought, it is not only 
a joy, but it is also a responsibility to 
know what we know. 

We have listened here this after- 
noon to these wonderful testimonies of 
the brethren and have thought of the 
marvelous things the Lord has done 
in restoring his truth. Think of our 
responsibility! As Jesus said, ". . . For 
unto whomsoever much is given, of 
him shall be much required. . . ." 
(Luke 12:48.) 

I think of the words of the Apostle 
Paul. He, like most of the prophets, 
saw the latter days, the days in which 
we are privileged to live, and he saw 
the marvelous things that the Lord 
would accomplish in our day. He 
said that the Lord had revealed the 
mystery of his will unto him. (See 
Eph. 1:9.) Now that is quite a state- 
ment, if you stop to analyze it. "That 
in the dispensation of the fulness of 
times he might gather together in one 
all things in Christ, both which are 
in heaven, and which are on earth; 
even in him." (Eph. 1:10.) 

As I analyze that statement, I think 
it means that all things that the 
prophets have beheld for the latter 
days ultimately would be brought 
forth in this, the dispensation of the 
fullness of times. That being true, 
are we not privileged to live in the 
dispensation of the fullness of times 
to enjoy all these gifts and blessings? 

I like the words of Isaiah, when he 
spoke of the Lord, "declaring the end 
from the beginning." (Isa. 46:10.) We 
are told that all things are known 
unto the Lord and that his purposes 
fail not; neither are there any who 
can stay his hand. 



I like to study the prophecies. I 
think they are a lot easier to under- 
stand after they are fulfilled than 
when you look forward to them. 
Nevertheless, they are a guide along 
the way, because when they are ful- 
filled, we know that it is by the doings 
of God the Eternal Father, that he 
rules in the heavens above and upon 
the earth beneath and in the lives of 
men. Things pertaining to his eternal 
purposes don't just happen — they hap- 
pen at his command. 

Speaking of prophecies, you re- 
member the prophecy of Isaiah, when 
he declared the destruction of Baby- 
lon, which was at that time the great- 
est city in all the world. I read a 
description of it, and it is wonderful. 
Isaiah said that it would never be 
rebuilt, that it should become the 
abode of wild animals and reptiles, 
that the Arab would no more pitch his 
tent there. (See Isa. 13:19-22.) 

When Brother [Howard W.] Hunter 
and. Brother [Spencer W.] Kimball 
came back from the Holy Land after 
Christmas 1961, 1 asked Brother Hunter 
if he saw Babylon. He said he saw 
what there was left of it. Just think 
of anyone but a prophet of God being 
able to say that one of the great cities 
of the world today would be destroyed 
and never be rebuilt. 

In the Book of Mormon we are told 
in at least three places that we should 
study the prophecies of Isaiah. Moroni 
said that we should study the prophe- 
cies of Isaiah because they would all 
be fulfilled. (Morm. 8:23.) Then in 
2 Nephi, chapter 25, we read that 
we should study the prophecies of 
Isaiah because in the day of their 
fulfillment it would be given to the 
Lord's people to understand them. 
When the Savior visited the Nephites, 
he told them to study the prophecies 
of Isaiah because the day of their 
fulfillment would be the day of the 
establishment of his covenant with 
his people, the house of Israel. (3 
Nephi, chapter 20.) 

I think that Isaiah was privileged to 
live almost more in our day than in 
the day he was actually here upon 
this earth. He was able to see so 
much of what the Lord would do in 
the latter days. He saw us settled 
here in these valleys of the mountains; 



he saw the desert made to blossom as 
the rose; he saw the rivers flow in 
the desert, where we have built these 
great irrigation canals; he saw the 
water flow down from the high places, 
where it has been reservoired in the 
mountains for summer use; he saw 
the daughters of Zion come up and 
sing in the heights of Zion. (See Isaiah, 
chapter 35.) Where can you find 
anything to fulfill that prophecy in 
all the history of the world except 
the singing of these sisters of the 
Tabernacle Choir, now in its 38th year 
of continuous broadcasting. Then 
think of our people coming from all 
over the Church to sing in our con- 
ferences, like the Singing Mothers who 
sang in the Relief Society conference. 
Truly, this is the center, you might say, 
of the singing people of all the world, 
and now with telestar, they will be 
singing to all the world. 

Isaiah saw the railroad train and 
the airplane and how the people would 
be gathered to Zion without even being 
able to loosen the latchets of their 
shoes. 

A few years ago President McKay 
went to Scotland to help organize the 
first stake in his bonny Scotland. 
When he returned, he reported to us 
brethren of the Twelve, telling us 
that he left London at two o'clock in 
the afternoon, stopped for a short 
period in Chicago, and was here in 
Salt Lake City that night to sleep in 
his own bed. Then he compared this 
to the time his family crossed the 
ocean; they were 43 days on the water 
with a sailing vessel and then had to 
cross the plains the best they could. 

Just think of the day in which we 
live. Why has there been such a 
change? If the veil were parted and 
the world could know why there had 
been such a change since the Father 
and the Son appeared to the Prophet 
Joseph, anybody who confesses a love 
for God the Eternal Father would 
be glad to have the Mormon elders 
come and bring to them a knowledge 
of this work. 

Isaiah prophesied: "For, behold, the 
darkness shall cover the earth, and 
gross darkness the people: . . ." and 
during that period of time the world 
made no progress. (Isa. 60:2.) 

When I went on my first mission to 
Holland, they were still cutting grain 
with a scythe and a sickle; they had no 
electric lights or modern homes, and 
the streetcars were drawn by horses. 

Just think how the world has 
changed, because the Lord not only 
foretold through his prophets that 
darkness would cover the earth but 
said: "I will pour out my spirit upon 
all flesh; and your sons and your 
daughters shall prophesy, your old 
men shall dream dreams, your young 
men shall see visions." (Joel 2:28.) 
And I could give you many illustra- 
tions of how this has been fulfilled. 



1116 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



I would like to return now to a state- 
ment in the Book of Mormon. You 
remember that when Lehi was in the 
desert, he told his son Joseph that the 
Lord had promised Joseph who was 
sold into Egypt that, in the latter 
days, he would raise up a prophet 
from his loins by the name of Joseph, 
whose father's name was Joseph. He 
said, "Unto him will I give power to 
bring forth my word." (See 2 Ne. 
3:11.) 

That prophet was none other than 
the Prophet Joseph Smith. He 
brought us the Book of Mormon, as 
has been testified here today, and the 
Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl 
of Great Price, and many other writ- 
ings. Concerning this prophet, the 
Lord said he would give him power 
"not to the bringing forth of my word 
only, . . . but to the convincing them 
of my word, which shall have already 
gone forth among them." (2 Ne. 3:11.) 

As I interpret that, it means that 
he would be able to understand the 
scriptures and the spirit in which they 
were written. You remember the 
words of Peter (reference has been 
made to them here today), who said: 

"We have also a more sure word of 
prophecy; whereunto ye do well that 
ye take heed, as unto a light that 
shineth in a dark place, until the day 
dawn, and the day star arise in your 
hearts: 

"Knowing this first, that no proph- 
ecy of the scripture is of any private 
interpretation. 

"For the prophecy came not in old 
time by the will of man: but holy men 
of God spake as they were moved by 
the Holy Ghost." (2 Pet. 1:19-21.) 

If all men reading the scriptures 
were moved upon by the power of the 
Holy Ghost, we wouldn't have hun- 
dreds of churches claiming that they 
have the truth. If you just stop to 
think a minute, they have come into 
existence because men could not agree 
in their interpretation of the scrip- 
tures. 

Thus this prophet of the latter 
days was to bring men to a conviction 
of the Lord's word that had already 
gone forth among them. And then 
the Lord said of this prophet, "He 
shall bring my people unto salvation." 
(See 2 Ne. 3:15.) He also said, "And 
I will make him great in mine eyes." 
(See 2 Ne. 3:8.) Now, whatever 
the world may think of this prophet 
of this dispensation, we have the wit- 
ness from God himself that this 
prophet would be great, and I think 
no prophet has ever lived, except the 
Redeemer of the world, who was 
greater than the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
for he has committed to this world a 
greater volume of truth and scripture 
than we have received from any other 
prophet. 

Brethren and sisters, I thank God 
for what he has done for me. When 



Isaiah saw the marvelous work and 
a wonder that would cause the wisdom 
of wise men to perish and the under- 
standing of their prudent men to be 
hid (see Isa. 29:14), that to me is 
real, as well as his other prophecies. 
He saw that God would "set his hand 
again the second time to recover the 
remnant of his people, . . . 

"And he shall set up an ensign for 
the nations, and shall assemble the 
outcasts of Israel, and gather together 
the dispersed of Judah from the four 
corners of the earth." (Isa. 11:11-12.) 
That is what he has literally done. 

You remember the poem written 
by Mary Ann Evans about Antonio 
Stradivarius, who made violins that 
are worth their weight in gold. It 



goes like this: "If my hand slacken, I 
should rob God, since he is fullest 
good, leaving a blank instead of vio- 
lins. God could not make Antonio 
Stradivarius violins without Antonio." 
I like to feel that, for me to be privi- 
leged to live upon the earth at this 
day, the Lord couldn't build his king- 
dom (as the prophets have declared) 
until it shall become as a great moun- 
tain and fill the whole earth without 
the little help that I can give. 

May God help each one of us to 
realize that we are not only honored 
and privileged to live in this day, but 
that a responsibility comes with it 
that we may measure up to, I pray, 
and leave you my blessing, in the 
name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Saturday Morning Session, October 1, 1966 



Be Not Troubled 

Marion G. Romney 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• I greet you all this morning, mem- 
bers and nonmembers of the Church, 
both seen and unseen, as brothers and 
sisters. My message for you today is 
"be not troubled." Since I shall give 
much of it in the words of the Savior, 
I invite you to join me in a prayer 
that we may enjoy the enlightenment 
of his Spirit, that we may both under- 
stand and appreciate the significance 
of his words. 

If I correctly divine the temper of 
our times, people are troubled — 
troubled by the portent of current 
events: "The rising risk of runaway 
inflation"; the shocking debauchery of 
the "new morality"; crippling indus- 
trial strife; increasing crime and gen- 
eral disrespect for law and order; mob 
rule; threatening world food shortages; 
the denial of God; his eviction from 
the affairs of our daily lives; escalating 
wars. These and other signs of the 
times fill the minds and hearts of 
honest, God-fearing people every- 
where with foreboding doubts and 
fearful apprehension. 

Informed believers in Jesus Christ 
see in these events fulfillment of the 
words that he spoke to his disciples as, 
on the last day of his public ministry, 
he stood before them in the flesh and 
responded to their questions concern- 
ing the signs of his coming in glory 
in the clouds of heaven, to fulfill the 
promises he had made concerning the 
redemption and also the restoration of 
the scattered Israel. (See D&C 45:16- 
17.) 

He first told them, as he stood with 



them there on the Mount of Olives, 
concerning the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, and that from there a remnant 
of Israel would "be scattered among all 
nations; 

"But [he added] they shall be 
gathered again; but they shall remain 
until the times of the Gentiles be 
fulfilled. 

"And in that day shall be heard of 
wars and rumors of wars, and the 
whole earth shall be in commotion, 
and men's hearts shall fail them, . . ." 
(D&C 45:24-26.) 

"And when the times of the Gen- 
tiles is come in, a light shall break 
forth among them that sit in darkness, 
and it shall be the fulness of my 
gospel; . . ." (v. 28.) 

"And there shall be men standing in 
that generation, that shall not pass 
until they shall see an overflowing 
scourge; for a desolating sickness shall 
cover the land. 

"But my disciples shall stand in holy 
places, and shall not be moved; but 
among the wicked, men shall lift up 
their voices and curse God and die. 

"And there shall be earthquakes also 
in divers places, and many desolations; 
yet men will harden their hearts 
against me, and they will take up the 
sword, one against another, and they 
will kill one another. 

"And now, [said the Lord to the 
Prophet Joseph Smith, to whom he re- 
vealed and restated these things anew] 
when I . . . had spoken these words 
unto my disciples, they were troubled. 

"And I said unto them: Be not 



DECEMBER 1966 



1117 



troubled, for, when all these things 
shall come to pass, ye may know that 
the promises which have been made 
unto you shall be fulfilled." (vss. 31- 
35. Italics added.) 

The fact that the Lord recounted 
these predictions to the Prophet Joseph 
in 1831 surely emphasizes their im- 
portance to us. And since the disciples 
were troubled when they were but 
being told of these calamities to come 
far in the future, it is no wonder that 
we are troubled as we witness their 
occurrence. 

But to proceed with the rest of what 
the Lord told his disciples: 

"And ... it shall be with them like 
unto a parable which I will show 
you — 

"Ye look and behold the fig-trees, 
and ye see them with your eyes, and 
ye say when they begin to shoot forth, 
and their leaves are yet tender, that 
summer is now nigh at hand; 

"Even so it shall be in that day 
when they shall see all these things, 
then shall they know that the hour is 
nigh. 

"And it shall come to pass that he 
that feareth me shall be looking forth 
for the great day of the Lord to come, 
even for the signs of the coming of the 
Son of Man. 

"And they shall see signs and won- 
ders, for they shall be shown forth in 
the heavens above, and in the earth 
beneath." (vss. 36-40.) 

"And then they shall look for me, 
and, behold, I will come; and they 
shall see me in the clouds of heaven, 
clothed with power and great glory; 
with all the holy angels; and he that 
watches not for me shall be cut off." 
(v. 44.) 

But before they are cut off, the 
promised redemption and gathering — 
the assurance of which was to comfort 
his disciples both then and now — are 
to be fulfilled. This is the way the 
Savior put it: 

"But before the arm of the Lord 
shall fall, an angel shall sound his 
trump, and the saints that have slept 
shall come forth to meet me in the 
cloud. 

"Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace 
blessed are you; for as you now behold 
me and know that I am, even so shall 
ye come unto me and your souls shall 
live, and your redemption shall be 
perfected; and the saints shall come 
forth from the four quarters of the 
earth." (vss. 45-46.) 

It was in the light of Christ's fore- 
knowledge of this glorious consumma- 
tion that he said to his disciples, "be 
not troubled." 

"Then," he continued (that is, after 
the redemption and the gathering), 
"shall the arm of the Lord fall upon 
the nations. 

"And then shall the Lord set his 
foot upon this mount [he was stand- 
ing on the Mount of Olives], and it 



shall cleave in twain, and the earth 
shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and 
the heavens also shall shake. 

"And the Lord shall utter his voice, 
and all the ends of the earth shall 
hear it; and the nations of the earth 
shall mourn, and they that have 
laughed shall see their folly. 

"And calamity shall cover the 
mocker, and the scorner shall be con- 
sumed; and they that have watched 
for iniquity shall be hewn down and 
cast into the fire." (vss. 47-50.) 

"And at that day, when I shall come 
in my glory, shall the parable be ful- 
filled which I spake concerning the 
ten virgins. 

"For they that are wise and have 
received the truth, and have taken the 
Holy Spirit for their guide, and have 
not been deceived — verily I say unto 
you, they shall not be hewn down and 
cast into the fire, but shall abide the 
day. 

"And the earth shall be given unto 
them for an inheritance; and they 
shall multiply and wax strong, and 
their children shall grow up without 
sin unto salvation. 

"For the Lord shall be in their 
midst, and his glory shall be upon 
them, and he will be their king and 
their lawgiver." (vss. 56-59.) 

I hope we are all familiar with these 
words of the Lord and with his predic- 
tions concerning other coming events, 
such as the building of the new 
Jerusalem and the redemption of the 
old, the return of Enoch's Zion, and 
Christ's millennial reign. 

Not only do I hope that we are 
familiar with these coming events; I 
hope also that we keep the vision of 
them continually before our minds. 
This I do because upon a knowledge 
of them, and an assurance of their 
reality and a witness that each of us 
may have part therein, rests the effi- 
cacy of Christ's admonition, "be not 
troubled." 

It has always been faith in a lofty 
goal and confidence that it may be 
attained that have held people on the 
rugged course to high attainment. It 
was the assurance that they could ob- 
tain the land flowing with "milk and 
honey" that held Moses to the task of 
leading Israel through the wilderness. 
It was faith that they could obtain the 
"land choice above all others" (see 
1 Ne. 2:20) that led Lehi and his 
colony through the desert and across 
the sea. It was the vision of Zion as it 
shall yet be that sustained the pioneers 
as they trudged across the plains. Paul 
says that even Jesus himself endured 
the cross "for the joy that was set be- 
fore him." (Heb. 12:2.) 

If we are to remain on course 
through the stresses of the rising 
storm, it is imperative that we have a 
similar sustaining and motivating 
goal. The Lord has given us no reason 
to think it will be easy to stay on 



course. As a matter of fact, he said 
that deception would become so per- 
suasive that if it were possible, the very 
elect shall be deceived. (Matt. 24:24.) 
Neither has he promised that the im- 
pending calamities will be miracu- 
lously turned aside nor that through 
the wisdom of men they can be 
averted. They are upon us because 
men have refused to be led by the 
living God. Generally speaking, men 
have rejected him and have chosen to 
put their trust in their own wisdom. 
In this they have made a terrible, 
tragic mistake. All history vindicates, 
and coming events will vindicate, the 
prophet's statement, "Cursed is he that 
putteth his trust in the arm of flesh." 
(See 2 Ne. 4:34.) 

Warning us of the consequences of 
our present course and identifying the 
cause of our troubles, the Lord said, 
as early as November 1, 1831: 

"Hearken, O ye people of my church, 
. . . Hearken ye people from afar; and 
ye that are upon the islands of the 
sea, listen together. 

"For verily the voice of the Lord is 
unto all men " (D&C 1:1-2.) 

". . . that all that will hear may 
hear: 

"Prepare ye, prepare ye for that 
which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; 

"And the anger of the Lord is kin- 
dled, and his sword is bathed in 
heaven, and it shall fall upon the 
inhabitants of the earth." (vss. 11-13.) 

And what had brought the inhabi- 
tants of the earth to such a predica- 
ment? 

". . . they have strayed from mine 
ordinances [said the Lord], and have 
broken mine everlasting covenant; 

"They seek not the Lord to establish 
his righteousness, but every man walk- 
eth in his own way, and after the 
image of his own God, whose image 
is in the likeness of the world. . . ." 
(D&C 1:15-16.) 

Since man's failure "to seek the 
Lord to establish his righteousness" is 
the cause of his troubles, is it not 
obvious that the remedy is for him to 
reverse his course? — that is, "seek the 
Lord to establish his righteousness." 
Such is the clear implication of the 
next statement of the Lord in this 
revelation: 

"Wherefore, I, the Lord, knowing 
the calamity which should come upon 
the inhabitants of the earth, called 
upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., 
and spake unto him from heaven, and 
gave him commandments; 

"And also gave commandments to 
others, that they should proclaim these 
things unto the world. . . ." (D&C 
1:17-18.) 

The commandments given, which 
were to be and which ever since have 
been proclaimed to the world, were 
given in connection with the restora- 
tion of the gospel of Jesus Christ — the 
light that the Lord told his disciples 



1118 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



would break forth among men when 
the times of the Gentiles should come 
in. It was restored to earth, he said, 
"to be a light to the world, and to be 
a standard for my people, and for the 
Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a 
messenger before my face to prepare 
the way before me." (D&C 45:9.) 

In it are revealed the ordinances 
from which men have strayed and the 
everlasting covenant that they have 
broken. It also instructs men how they 
must "seek the Lord to establish his 
righteousness. . . ." (See D&C 1:16.) 

Now, the basis for the hope and 
courage that will keep us from being 
troubled does not lie in the expecta- 
tion that enough people will accept 
and obey the restored gospel to turn 
aside the oncoming calamities. Nor 
does it depend upon any such con- 
tingency. As already indicated, it lies 
in the assurance that everyone who 
will accept and obey the restored gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ shall reap the 
promised rewards, and this regardless 
of what others do. And certain it is 
that those who receive the blessings 
will have to prevail against great op- 
position, for the world in general is 
not improving. It is ripening in ini- 
quity. 

As early as January 2, 1831, the Lord 
declared: 

". . . all flesh is corrupted before me; 
and the powers of darkness prevail 
upon the earth, among the children 
of men, . . . 

". . . eternity is pained, and the 
angels are waiting the great command 
to reap down the earth, to gather the 
tares that they may be burned. . . ." 
(D&C 38:11-12.) 

About two years later he said again 
upon the subject: 

"Behold, verily I say unto you, the 
angels are crying unto the Lord day 
and night, who are ready and waiting 
to be sent forth to reap down the 
fields; 

"But the Lord saith unto them, 
pluck not up the tares while the blade 
is yet tender . . . lest you destroy the 
wheat also. 

"Therefore, let the wheat and the 
tares grow together until the harvest is 
fully ripe; then ye shall first gather 
out the wheat from among the tares, 
and after the gathering of the wheat, 
behold and lo, the tares are bound in 
bundles and the field remaineth to be 
burned." (D&C 86:5-7.) 

Sixty-five years later, President 
Woodruff, then the mouthpiece of the 
Almighty on the earth, said: 

"I want to bear testimony ... that 
the day is come when those angels are 
privileged to go forth and commence 
their work. They are laboring in the 
United States of America; they are 
laboring among the nations of the 
earth; and they will continue. . . . 
We need not marvel or wonder at 
anything that is transpiring in the 



earth. . . . We cannot draw a veil over 
the events that await this generation. 
No man that is inspired by the spirit 
and power of God can close his ears, 
his eyes or his lips to these things." 
(Millennial Star, Vol. 58, pp. 738-9, 
Nov. 10, 1896.) 

In confirmation of this testimony, 
the tempo of wickedness and destruc- 
tion has been greatly accelerated since 
President Woodruff spoke those words, 
and so has the gathering in of the 
wheat. Even now the tares are binding 
themselves in bundles, making ready 
for the field to be burned. 

Naturally, believing Christians, even 
those who have a mature faith in the 
gospel, are concerned and disturbed by 
the lowering clouds on the horizon. 
But they need not be surprised or fran- 
tic about their portent, for, as has 
already been said, at the very begin- 
ning of this last dispensation the Lord 
made it abundantly clear that through 
the tribulations and calamity that he 
foresaw and foretold and that we now 
see coming upon us, there would be a 
people who, through acceptance and 
obedience to the gospel, would be able 
to recognize and resist the powers of 
evil, build up the promised Zion, and 
prepare to meet the Christ and be 
with him in the blessed millennium. 



And we know further that it is possible 
for every one of us, who will, to have 
a place among those people. It is this 
assurance and this expectation that 
gives us understanding of the Lord's 
admonition, "be not troubled." 

And now I close with this quotation 
from the Master: 

". . . labor ye, labor ye in my vine- 
yard for the last time — for the last 
time call upon- the inhabitants of the 
earth. 

"For in mine own due time will I 
come upon the earth in judgment, and 
my people shall be redeemed and 
shall reign with me on earth. 

"For the great Millennium, of which 
I have spoken by the mouth of my 
servants, shall come. . . . 

"Hearken ye to these words. Behold, 
I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the 
world. Treasure these things up in 
your hearts, and let the solemnities 
of eternity rest upon your minds." 
(D&C 43:28-30, 34.) 

I bear my witness to the truth of 
these sayings. I know they are true, 
that we are living in those days and 
seeing the signs just preceding the 
coming of the Redeemer. That we may 
live the gospel of Jesus Christ and "be 
not troubled," I humbly pray in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Build Life for Service 

Richard L. Evans 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• President McKay and my brethren 
and sisters: 

Gratefully I have come to know the 
worth of people worldwide, and I see 
no need for any other salutation — 
except my brethren and sisters, per- 
taining to all people. 

In turning today to a series of 
separate and yet related subjects, there 
comes to mind a sentence I have 
quoted many times in many places 
since I first read it some months ago. 
It comes from Albert Camus, who 
said: "Conscious of the fact that I 
cannot separate myself from the 
time in which I am living, I have de- 
cided to become a part of it." 

The facts of our time are here to 
face. They are both encouraging and 
discouraging. They include much of 
the best the world has ever known, 
and problems so complex as to dis- 
courage all who have a responsible 
awareness of them. 

And yet here we are on earth, with 
the God-given gift of life, with the 



opportunity of living here and now, 
not at some other time, but in this 
time, with these people, with these 
problems, with great purpose, great 
opportunities, great responsibilities. 

And with all the problems, with all 
the uncertainties, all the loosening of 
moral foundations, all the rationalizing 
of principles, all the doubts expressed 
about life's purpose, I should like to 
begin with a simple declaration: If 
we live the gospel, if we keep our 
standards, if we keep the command- 
ments, if we prepare ourselves, if we 
keep prayerfully close to our Father 
in heaven and to his Church, we can 
live in the world, and serve and suc- 
ceed. And the Lord God never in- 
tended that we should do anything but 
succeed. That is what he sent us here 
for; that is his work and his glory, as 
it is of any father pertaining to his 
children — that they shall be happy and 
useful and righteous, and realize 
success. 

And I should like to mention some 



DECEMBER 1966 



1119 



specific things that are essential to 
success: 

One pertains to preparation, and this 
more particularly pertains to young 
people. Young people become discour- 
aged. They see the distance between 
where they are and where they want 
to be. They look at the long years 
of preparation and sometimes give up 
too easily. The fact is that the mind 
of man is infinite, and anyone who 
does less than prepare himself solidly 
for useful and significant service is 
exceedingly shortsighted and wasteful 
in a most deplorable way. 

From a church welfare bulletin of 
so'me years ago (Bulletin 112, June 
1961), I recall this counsel, as sound 
and urgent today as ever it was, or 
perhaps more so: 

(1) Obtain sufficient education and 
training to qualify for positions that 
will produce adequate income. 

(2) Live within income and accumu- 
late savings. 

(3) Avoid excessive debt. 
To summarize, this says: 

Prepare well, save something, avoid 
the slavery of debt (and all other 
kinds of slavery also, of which there 
is an infinite variety). 

As to the first of these points: 
"Obtain sufficient education and train- 
ing to qualify for positions that will 
produce adequate income." In these 
days, there are more ways to acquire 
an adequate education than there ever 
were before, and those who are de- 
termined to do so can usually find 
some way to acquire such education 
as they are willing to take. It may 
be difficult, it may take longer, but 
there are ways and means, and those 
who want to prepare and improve 
can prepare and improve. 

The needs are great, the opportuni- 
ties are limitless, and the mind of 
man is capable of much more than 
we have ever used it for. We believe 
that the glory of God is intelligence. 
We believe that it is literally impos- 
sible to be saved in ignorance. We 
believe that education is an obligation. 

Emerson said: "The future belongs 
to those who prepare for it." Our 
families, the Church, the community, 
the nation, the kingdom of God are 
better served by the best-prepared 
people. Preparation and knowledge, 
with faithfulness, are infinitely better 
than just faithfulness alone. And 
those who drop out for trivial reasons, 
those who cease to learn, those who 
don't continue to try to increase their 
competence are, I believe, failing to 
do their full duty. 

I would challenge young men and 
women to succeed. I see no virtue 
in mediocrity. The Lord God gave 
man the earth and told him to subdue 
it, and he isn't likely to subdue it 
with a dull instrument. I would say 
to this generation, old and young: In 
faithfulness and righteousness, prepare 



and improve yourselves for service. 
And I am not speaking of theoretical 
or academic knowledge only. Acquire 
skills, develop talents, increase compe- 
tence in such useful fields as you are 
best fitted for. Improve and serve with 
mind and hands and heart. Your 
families will be better, the world will 
be better, your country and the king- 
dom of God will be better for your 
doing so. This is not a time for un- 
preparedness. Dull tools are not much 
in demand. We had better sharpen 
ourselves. 

Now as to saving something, and 
the matter of debt, and meeting obli- 
gations: Old fashioned as it may seem, 
there is much self-respect and assur- 
ance in saving something, in having 
something set aside. It isn't wise, and 
it never was, to spend everything, or 
to live beyond the reasonable possi- 
bility of paying, or to mortgage the 
future, except for urgent necessities. 
There is no man who is not likely to 
meet an emergency. Something saved, 
something in reserve, brings self- 
respect and assurance. And paying 
obligations is, of course, a matter of 
simple honesty. 

I would say also that we ought to 
be able comfortably to face our Father 
in heaven in the matter of paying our 
tithes and offerings. I cannot per- 
haps prove it mathematically, but I 
can prove in my own observations and 
experience that the full and honest 
payment of tithing and the meeting 
of obligations to the Church and to 
God bring blessings and peace and 
assurance — both material and spiritual 
assurance that cannot otherwise be 
accounted for. 

And in this context let me say that 
the commandments have not been re- 
pealed — not those pertaining to loving 
the Lord God, or taking his name in 
vain, or loving our fellowmen; not 
those pertaining to keeping the Sab- 
bath day holy; not those pertaining to 
parents and children and the honor 
they owe each other; not those pertain- 
ing to taking life; not those per- 
taining to stealing or coveting or 
bearing false witness; not those per- 
taining to morality and adultery and 
personal purity. 

". . . let virtue garnish thy thoughts 
unceasingly," the Lord has said to us; 
"then shall thy confidence wax strong 
in the presence of God. ..." (D&C 
121:45.) How heartbreaking it would 
be to feel shame in his presence. How 
wonderful to feel confidence in the 
presence of God, or in our own pres- 
ence, or in the presence of our loved 
ones and others, to live with a sense 
of Tightness and honesty, to live with- 
out a sense of shame. 

Despite all cynicism and so-called 
sophistication, the commandments are 
still in force. There are causes and 
consequences in all things, and there 
is only one acceptable way to live; that 



is in faith and faithfulness, keeping 
the commandments, living the stan- 
dards, working earnestly and honestly, 
being loyal to trust, not defrauding, 
not misrepresenting, not with short 
measure — but preparing, learning, im- 
proving, becoming increasingly compe- 
tent in honesty and honor. We have 
been given much. We have weighty 
responsibilities. We must be a light 
unto the world. If we are not, our 
darkness will be deeper. 

Another thing for which I would 
plead would be for us to become more 
earnestly active in public affairs. I 
do not mean politics only, but would 
not exclude politics. We should be 
aware of the way the world is run, 
of the ways whereby laws and prac- 
tices and policies are put into effect 
and by which our environment is con- 
ditioned; and we should have hon- 
orable and effective part in these 
processes, and be men among men. We 
must be a part of our own time. We 
can blame no one but ourselves for 
adverse results if we are not informed 
and active and effective, if we are 
indifferent or complacent in public 
and private affairs. I think it was 
Edmund Burke who said: "All that is 
necessary for evil to triumph is for 
good men to do nothing." And in all 
of this we need to be informed, to know 
the facts, to be forthright, to deal 
fairly. 

And always we need humility. Al- 
ways we need to search ourselves, our 
minds, our hearts, our motives. The 
more knowledge, the more success, the 
more humility we need. Indeed, there 
is much to keep us humble. Despite 
all learning and all accomplishment 
and all that men know, there is still 
the fact, as someone has reminded us, 
that "man owes his very existence here 
on earth to a six-inch layer of top 
soil and the fact that it rains." (Au- 
thor unknown.) Life here is possible 
because of Divine Providence. And 
while men may learn and use the laws 
of nature, the laws of life, we are still 
children in understanding, children 
before the infinite and inscrutable 
wisdom that keeps creation in its 
course. 

We may make much of man's 
orbiting in space — but why marvel so 
much, asked one observer. Haven't 
we been orbiting in space all our lives 
on a wonderful world? The Creator 
is still in command. 

Much of my life is lived among 
those who are not of my faith, men 
and women of graciousness and sin- 
cerity and goodwill, whom I love and 
respect, worldwide. I have never been 
embarrassed by the standards of the 
Church. But I'm sure we would all 
lose the respect of many men, indeed 
of all men, if we were not true to our 
own faith and convictions. We disap- 
point our friends when we depart 
from our own principles. 



1120 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



There are commandments to keep, 
standards to live by, and eternal pur- 
poses and promises that we can count 
on. 

Learn, prepare, improve, work, keep 
clean, become competent, live with 
honor and honesty; don't waste, don't 
be idle, don't drift; keep life balanced 
and pursue its purposes, and don't be 
unduly discouraged. 

It isn't all as easy as it sounds. All 
men have problems. All of us per- 
sonally have problems. There is no 
perfection on this earth, but there are 
still eternal truths that we can count 
on and for which we are accountable. 

"The important consideration is not 
how long we can live," said President 
Joseph F. Smith, "but how well we 
can learn the lessons of life, and dis- 
charge our duties and obligations to 
God and to one another. One of the 
main purposes of our existence is that 
we might conform to the image and 
likeness of him who sojourned in the 
flesh without blemish — immaculate, 
pure, and spotless!" (Gospel Doctrine, 
p. 270.) 

This is our day on earth. It isn't 
likely that we are going to be able 
to turn back the clock. It isn't likely 
that conditions in this world will 
ever again be just as once they were. 
Life moves in one direction only, and 
we move with it; but it is comforting 
and assuring to know that there is an 
overall prevailing plan and purpose, 
and that each of us has a part to 
perform, an eternal part in God's 
great purpose. 

And as our fathers did before us, 
let us begin where we are with what 
we have, and be what we ought to 
be, and begin to go where we ought 
to go, to use our opportunities and 
energies, and to move forward, to have 
faith, to keep faith, to become part of 



things, to take public and civic re- 
sponsibility, to keep an interest in 
government, in all the affairs and 
forces that run the world, to be a 
constructive and effective part of what 
shapes and moves men. It isn't enough 
to sit on the sidelines. 

"Please God let us not live by de- 
fault, . . . but by the acquisition of 
truth and dedication to it" (author 
unknown), to the realization of the 
God-given purposes of life, and the 
things that matter most. 

"Conscious of the fact that I can- 
not separate myself from the time in 
which I am living, I have decided 
to become a part of it." (Attributed to 
Albert Camus, French journalist.) 

And so this day I would plead with 
you, my beloved young friends of this 
generation, and also to us who are 
older, to prepare, to be competent, to 
succeed, to be an effective participating 
part of that which shapes the future 
before us, going forth with faith and 
confidence, not sacrificing principles, 
but being part of our own time. 

To my beloved friends everywhere, 
I leave you my witness that God lives, 
that he is our eternal Father, that 
he made us in his own image, that 
he sent his Divine Son, our Savior 
and Redeemer, to teach us and to 
redeem us from death. 

I leave you my witness that his work 
is with us, restored to earth for our 
time, for our guidance, for our assur- 
ance, for our success, and that as we 
live and learn and do his will and keep 
his commandments, we shall have 
everlasting life with our loved ones, 
which is the greatest assurance of the 
gospel, the greatest of God's gifts. 

May his peace and blessing and 
guidance and protection be with you 
always, I pray in the name of our 
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Saturday Afternoon Session, October 1, 1966 



Appreciation for 
Our Men in Military Service 

Gordon B. Hinckley 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• I am grateful for the inspirational 
music of these lovely women. 

As we sit here in security and com- 
fort this beautiful autumn day, my 
thoughts reach across the vast stretches 
of the Pacific to our brethren in Viet 
Nam. It is early Sunday morning 
there. Many of those who can be 
excused from war duties will soon 
gather for their Sunday meetings. The 
only room available to them in Saigon 



will be crowded to capacity. Other 
meetings will be held in Bien Hoa, 
Phu Loi, Cam Ranh Bay, Bac Lieu, 
Chu Lai, Plei Ku, and a score of other 
places with strange-sounding names. 
Most of those in attendance will be in 
uniform. With grateful hearts they 
are likely to sing, "We thank thee, 
O God, for a prophet." They will 
pray for us who are here assembled 
in conference. They will renew their 



covenants with the Lord as they par- 
take of the emblems of his sacrifice. 
They will study his word. They will 
comfort and sustain one another. 

I have thought that I would like to 
use this opportunity, if the Spirit will 
give me inspiration, to speak a few 
words concerning our men in the 
armed services the world over — 
whether in the service of the United 
States or other nations — Great Britain, 
Australia, New Zealand, Korea, the 
Philippines, and others. 

I should like to speak a word of 
assurance to mothers and fathers, 
many of whom are sick with worry 
concerning their sons. I should like 
to extend an invitation to those of our 
young men in service who may not 
be actively associated with the Church. 
I should like to express appreciation 
to those of our brethren who have 
done so much to bring a measure of 
peace to the hearts of many others 
with whom they are associated while 
in the service of their respective 
countries. 

In the United States growing num- 
bers of our young men are being 
inducted. Draft requirements have 
swelled tremendously during the past 
few months, and there is no indication 
that they will be substantially lessened 
in the near future. 

Many thousands of young men of 
the Church are now in military service, 
and more are entering every week. 
Sorrow and anxiety and gnawing fear 
concerning loved ones afflict the homes 
of many of our people. 

The word that most strikes fear in 
the heart of a mother these days is 
Viet Nam. It is a land so far away. 
The heat is oppressive. The jungle is 
so dark. Everything is so strange. Is 
the Church there, they anxiously ask? 

Some few weeks ago a mother called 
me. She said that her son was in the 
Marine Corps. She inquired whether 
there was a branch of the Church 
anywhere in South Viet Nam. I as- 
sured her that there are many groups 
and branches and told her how her son 
could find the one nearest his base. 

A few days later she called back and 
said that she had just received a letter 
that she would like to read. He had 
written: "Mother, don't worry about 
me any more. I've found the Church. 
Your prayers have been answered. This 
morning seven of us found a place 
where we could be off by ourselves. 
We sang the hymns we sing at home, 
but they had a new meaning for us. 
We administered the sacrament, and 
I have never appreciated it so much. 
We read together the Book of Mormon, 
and we bore testimony one to another. 
Don't worry about me. The Church 
is here, and I'm in the Church." 

I join with you in a prayer that 
peace will soon come to that troubled 
part of the world. I would earnestly 
hope that your sons will not be called 



DECEMBER 1966 



1121 



to serve in those hot, fearsome battle- 
grounds; but in case orders take them 
there, I want to assure you that they 
may find the Church operating under 
the direction of devoted and faithful 
men. 

South Viet Nam is a zone of the 
Southern Far East Mission. There are 
four such zones in that mission: Tai- 
wan, or the Republic of China; the 
Philippines; Hong Kong; and South 
Viet Nam. Presiding over the South 
Viet Nam Zone is a presidency of three 
worthy men, and under them are three 
district presidencies, each consisting of 
three worthy men. Within these dis- 
tricts are nearly thirty branches or 
groups, each with a president or pres- 
sidency. 

Three Mormon chaplains are sta- 
tioned there, and a fourth is assigned 
to go there. No more devoted or cap- 
able members of the Church will be 
found anywhere in the world. May I 
read a few lines from one of them, our 
zone president, Major Rozsa. These 
words were penned as he rode a C-47 
over the bomb-cratered jungle of that 
embattled land. He says: 

"Viet Nam, in many ways, is a won- 
derful experience for our LDS brothers 
and sisters. I have never been amongst 
more choice men and women in the 
gospel than those serving here in Viet 
Nam. I have never seen so much 
priesthood talent assembled in one area, 
except at conference time in Salt Lake 
City, as I have witnessed in Viet Nam. 
We have numerous brethren who have 
served as bishops, in bishoprics, on 
high councils, as branch presidents, 
and in other offices. I firmly believe 
that those priesthood bearers who re- 
main faithful and serve their country 
and the Lord while in Viet Nam will 
provide a great potential leadership 
within the Church. 

"Our priesthood holders face a life 
in Viet Nam that is different from 
anything they have known elsewhere. 
The fighting is different, the political 
situation is different, the controversies 
over our presence in Viet Nam are un- 
paralleled in past conflicts — controver- 
sies among our fellow Americans at 
home, and the constant temptations 
that lead to immorality and moral de- 
cay, are more pronounced here than I 
have witnessed in other lands during 
other conflicts. 

"Our men and women are being 
tried in a refiner's fire. Those who re- 
main true will have made great strides 
toward the kingdom of God." Such is 
the estimate of Major Rozsa. 

Now listen to the words of another 
young man in a remote battle area: 
"I've just attended services held in a 
tent here on base. . . . I'm only a dea- 
con, but I have come to learn that in 
our Church . . . everyone seems to help 
everyone else as brothers and sisters 
should. . . . This group may be small 
in number but it is large in faith. I 



attended an hour-long service this 
morning and I'm proud to tell you 
even though we are [many thousands 
of] miles away from our home, 
Church, and loved ones, we still be- 
lieve in the gospel and bear our tes- 
timonies with sincere faith." 

Let me give you another snatch 
from a letter: "I'm thankful," this 
young officer in a commando unit 
writes, "for the Church here in Viet 
Nam. It has really been a great help 
to me. It's been here in times of need 
when we come under mortar and re- 
coilless rifle attack. I'm thankful that 
I know about the plan of salvation 
and what to expect after death, be- 
cause it has really been a source of 
strength for me." 

This leads me to a second point I 
wish to mention — an invitation to our 
young men over there who may not 
have become actively associated with 
the Church. You need the Church and 
the Church needs you. The individual 
there must seek out the Church. A 
systematic effort is made to find all 
Church members, but it is not easy 
under present circumstances. There are 
more than 300,000 Americans there, 
among whom it is estimated there may 
be 3,000 members of the Church. You 
families, you fathers and mothers, urge 
your sons to look for the Church. Or 
you may write to our brethren there 
concerning your boys. A pair of ded- 
icated home teachers will call on that 
son or brother and extend him an in- 
vitation with all the solicitude that 
home teachers in your ward would 
exercise. 

And to you young men who may be 
sent to that distant part of the world, 
may I extend an invitation in behalf 
of your brethren in Viet Nam, that 
you make your presence known. The 
fellowship in the priesthood you will 
enjoy will prove to be a priceless 
blessing in your life. It will bring you 
the association of good men — of great 
men who love the Lord and who love 
their fellowmen. You will find hap- 
piness in such company; and more 
important, you will be protected from 
those evils which, if partaken of, will 
inevitably bring sorrow and regret all 
your days. And you will be prompted 
to participate in new and enriching 
opportunities for service. Listen to the 
words of a letter written by a young 
man in that area where there is much 
of evil, of bloodshed, of tragedy: 

"The two of us," he writes, "have 
been teaching the gospel to our as- 
sociates. We've taught Vietnamese, 
Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, and Amer- 
icans and have been having really 
wonderful and gratifying results. Every 
baptismal that is held we have people 
ready for baptism. Right now we are 
using five Vietnamese, who have al- 
ready joined the Church, as inter- 
preters, and this is surely an experi- 
ence teaching these people . . . with 



an interpreter. It takes a lot more ex- 
plaining to get a point across, but 
you can always see and feel the Holy 
Ghost working with us. . . . Right at 
the present time we have sixteen 
people that we are teaching. Six of 
them have committed themselves to 
be baptized October 8." 

And from another letter: "Last night 
I interviewed a young man for baptism 
who had been taught the gospel by 
one of our recent converts. We will 
hold his baptismal service tomorrow 
in the South China Sea." 

Nor is this matter of sharing the 
gospel with their associates the only 
thing for which I extend the apprecia- 
tion of the entire Church and of many 
others who are the beneficiaries of 
their inspired and selfless service. One 
of our chaplains writes: "I again 
visited C-Med last night. We had two 
LDS casualties brought in. . . . Both 
were in the intensive-care wards. I 
took Elder Richard Southard with me, 
and we anointed and blessed them, as 
well as a badly wounded Episcopalian 
boy and a Baptist boy, who requested 
a blessing from us as they were in the 
same ward. We also anointed and 
blessed a small Vietnamese child who 
had been wounded, while its heart- 
broken mother sat on the bed weep- 
ing." 

This great spirit in our men who 
have gone to war as citizens of the 
nations of which they are a part is 
almost as old as the Church. More 
than a century ago British members 
of the Church had what they called 
the "floating branch" among sailors 
in the Mediterranean. There was also 
an "expeditionary branch" of our 
British brethren during the Crimean 
War of the 1850's. 

We now have approximately 20,000 
native members of the Church in the 
Far East— some 3,000 in Korea, 10,000 
in Japan and Okinawa, 6,000 Chinese 
in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and a 
thousand Filipinos. This marvelous 
Church membership is the sweet fruit 
of the simple, quiet work begun by 
our servicemen stationed in these lands 
who initially taught the gospel there, 
first by their example and secondly by 
their precepts, and in so doing they 
opened the way for the coming of 
missionaries, for whose coming they 
had pleaded. 

I am confident that today, out of 
the misery of that fearful, tragic, vi- 
cious war in Southeast Asia, will come 
some measure of good as the Lord, 
working through faithful men, turns 
the evil snares of the adversary to 
blessings in the lives of many of his 
children. 

As I think of our brethren, there 
come to mind these great words of 
promise given through revelation in 
the year 1831: "Wherefore, be not 
weary in well-doing, for ye are laying 
the foundation of a great work. And 



1122 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



out of small things proceedeth that 
which is great. 

"Behold, the Lord requireth the 
heart and a willing mind." (D&C 64: 
33-34.) 

To our brethren over there I extend 
our appreciation and invoke upon you 
the blessings of the Lord, that you 
may be encouraged in your faith, that 
you may be protected in your duties, 



and that you may have cause to rejoice 
in the midst of sorrow as you share 
with others the precious gift of the faith 
that is yours. God bless you, my dear 
brethren, this Sabbath day, as the sun 
rises over those distant embattled 
shores and you gather together to wor- 
ship in the name of him whose peace 
must come, if peace is to come at all, 
even Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Wisdom in Spending 

John H. Vandenberg 
Presiding Bishop 



• Under the heading of "Vital Statis- 
tics" in the daily newspaper, there are 
listed the names of those happy men 
and women who have received licenses 
to enter into the holy state of matri- 
mony. There are also listed under the 
same heading those unhappy indi- 
viduals who have failed in matrimony 
and are now suing for divorce. Often- 
times, this is a longer list. One won- 
ders what happened in the latter cases 
that brought their status from bliss 
to chaos. 

The following excerpt from a letter 
written by a 16-year-old girl tells how 
family trouble may start: 

"My dad and mother are good peo- 
ple, and I love them very much. We 
have family prayer but not very often 
any more because Mom and Dad are 
always fighting about money. We 
have lots of bills to pay each month, 
and my dad is working two jobs to 
make more money. I am wondering 
if it is all right for me, since I have 
a job at a drive-in, to give my money 
to my mother and skip tithing for a 
while?" 

The young lady should be com- 
mended for her desires to help her 
parents, but the matter would not be 
helped by diverting her tithing to the 
cause. 

The answer to this family's problem 
is not necessarily more money. The 
need for more money is merely the 
symptom. The malady is excessive 
debt, caused by uncontrolled credit 
purchasing. The cure is a reappraisal 
of the income after allowing God's 
due, a survey of the amounts needed 
for the real necessities — shelter, food, 
clothing, health — and a calculation of 
the residue of income for the amortiza- 
tion of other indebtedness, with a 
resolve by all that no further credit 
purchases be made. It may even mean 
the forfeiture of some luxury items that 
should not have been purchased in 



the first place. Here I would caution 
people against borrowing more money 
to consolidate debts, thereby increasing 
their interest rates and extending their 
bondage. 

Unwarrantable indebtedness is one 
of the curses of this day and age. It 
causes many people to live their lives 
in bondage. The lure of buying on 
time under the "easy payment plan" 
too often puts the millstone around the 
neck of the purchaser; and when once 
in the credit rut, it is very hard to get 
out. Sorrow, grief, divorce, and de- 
linquency are all perpetuated by such 
foolishness. 

When a family finds itself too far 
in debt, the atmosphere of discourage- 
ment enters the home, relationships 
become tense, tempers become short, 
and marital troubles begin to erupt. 
To meet the indebtedness, the mother 
may frequently leave her children to 
themselves while she finds employ- 
ment out of the home. Irregularities 
in the home follow: service to God is 
disregarded, tithing is neglected, 
prayers become less frequent, persons 
begin to feel separated and apart from 
God and church, and the condition 
explained by Isaiah ensues: 

". . . the Lord's hand is not 
shortened, that it cannot save; neither 
his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; 

"But . . . iniquities have separated 
between you and your God, and your 
sins have hid his face from you, that 
he will not hear." (Isa. 59:1-2.) 

Some weeks ago, discussing this sub- 
ject at a stake conference, a judge said 
to me that from his experience on the 
bench, financial problems were, in the 
majority of cases, the real cause of 
marital failure. 

A study was undertaken at one of 
our universities some years ago con- 
cerning the relationship of divorce 
with financial matters. It revealed that 
steady employment is a real factor in 



the success of marriage, that marriage 
becomes increasingly less stable when 
there is a disturbance in the family 
income, such as unemployment and 
work layoffs. (William J. Goode, 
After Divorce [Glencoe, Illinois: The 
Free Press, 1956], p. 54.) 

Anyone contemplating marriage 
should certainly recognize that an ade- 
quate income is paramount. Young 
people need to prepare for this respon- 
sibility. Then the wise handling of 
that income would be to see that the 
outgo does not exceed the income, 
with a designated amount for reserve. 
Family financial disturbances come 
from inadequate planning, over- 
buying, poor vision, emotional imma- 
turity, and lack of self-discipline. 
Getting in debt is largely an emotional 
decision rather than a rational one. 
Major purchases should not be made 
in a hurry; take a few months or 
years to think and plan. Marriage 
is a partnership arrangement between 
two individuals. Decisions should be 
made by the husband and wife jointly. 
They should talk financial matters 
over freely. 

Because the home is the basic unit 
of society, its stability, sanctity, and 
harmony should be maintained. Our 
objective should be to help eradicate 
anything that tends to upset the 
equilibrium of the family unit. 

The admonition of our Church 
leaders has always been to stay out of 
unwarrantable debt. We should "shy 
away from debt as we would a plague" 
was the counsel of the late President 
J. Reuben Clark, Jr. He also warned: 
"To buy on the installment plan 
means to mortgage your future earn- 
ings. If, through sickness or death or 
through loss of work, the earnings 
cease, the property bought is lost, to- 
gether with what has been put into 
it." President Joseph F. Smith said: 
"It is highly proper for the Latter-day 
Saints to get out of debt." 

We ought not to allow financial 
problems to enter our homes to cause 
the family unit to deteriorate. We 
ought to hearken to the Savior as 
we build and establish our homes. I 
think his advice is a trustworthy guide 
for us today, for he said: 

"For which of you, intending to 
build a tower, sitteth not down first, 
and counteth the cost, whether he have 
sufficient to finish it? 

"Lest haply, after he hath laid the 
foundation, and is not able to finish 
it, all that behold it begin to mock 
him, 

"Saying, This man began to build, 
and was not able to finish." (Luke 
14:28-30.) 

The principle here is: be sure you 
have a program to pay your way be- 
fore you buy. It was sound 2,000 
years ago; it is still a sound practice 
today. 

Admittedly, there are so-called 



DECEMBER 1966 



1123 



economists who plead for liberal use 
of credit. But as Charles Neal states 
in his book, Sense with Dollars: "If 
you fall for this hogwash and get your- 
self into financial trouble, the same 
economists will chide you for being 
'economically illiterate' and hint that 
you are a threat to the free enterprise 
system, and the truth is, you would 
be." (Charles V. Neal, Sense with 
Dollars [Garden City, N. J.: Double- 
day & Company, Inc., 1965].) 

Our society has been pommeled 
with so many "easy credit" signs, and 
the lure of such has made many a 
covetous people. The Lord decreed 
on Mount Sinai: "Thou shalt not 
covet." Covet means, according to my 
dictionary, "Eagerly desirous, espe- 
cially inordinately desirous of posses- 
sions or wealth; grasping, avaricious, 
often eager to possess that to which 
one has no right." If you cannot pay 
for an article, you have no right to it. 

Young couples should discipline 
themselves with the thought, "Don't 
try to get everything at once. Rome 
was not built in a day." And again, 
they should be reminded that there 
is no such thing as an "easy payment." 
All payments are hard-cash payments. 
Unwarrantable installment buying is 
a pit into which those who covet fall. 
Debt is the tyrannical master. 

We read with abhorrence that years 
ago, in many parts of the world, it 
was a practice to place people in 
bondage and bring them to America to 
serve as bonded servants to their mas- 
ters for a specified period of time. All 
their work and energies were used for 
the benefit of their master. The citi- 
zens of this country could not tolerate 
such a practice for long. It was this 
attitude for liberty that gave birth to 
this nation, a nation in which its 
citizens could be free from bondage. 
Yet, today many of our citizens are 
slaves to unwarrantable credit prac- 
tices. They can free themselves if 
they will. Naturally, it isn't easy 
to break old habits, but obedience to 
the gospel principles should give an 
adequate incentive to get out of debt. 

Most individuals are endowed with 
production power. There is no sub- 
stitute for personal production. True 
wealth is termed production, and there 
is only one basic, proper way to live: 
upon the fruits of one's own labor. 
Enjoyment of life comes through such 
a practice. Jesus stressed this principle 
in his parable of the talents when he 
said: 

". . . he that had received five talents 
came and brought other five talents, 
saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me 
five talents: behold, I have gained be- 
sides them five more. 

"His lord said unto him, Well done, 
thou good and faithful servant: thou 
hast been faithful over a few things, 
I will make thee ruler over many 
things: enter thou into the joy of thy 



lord." (Matt. 25:20-21. Italics added.) 

Providing for one's self and family 
is a sacred charge to the husband, for 
if he does not, he is considered by 
God worse than an infidel. To provide 
indicates that parents will teach their 
children, early in life, self-reliance, to 
abhor debt as a plague, how to earn 
income through industry, how to re- 
ceive proper value for money expended, 
how to build reserves for schooling and 
missionary service, the value of inter- 
est rates, what it costs them, when 
they pay, what it earns for them as 
they build their reserves. There seems 
to be only one place for children to 
learn these lessons, and that is in the 
home. Sylvester Kellerman, U. S. 
referee in bankruptcy at Louisville, 
Kentucky, calls to our attention: 

"What we need is a basic course in 
economics for everybody. Money man- 
agement should be taught in grade 
schools. Schools can teach children 
French in the second grade, but they 
can't teach them interest rates. 

"People seldom see how much an 
item costs any more. It's how much a 
week. When people have trouble 
meeting their credit installments, they 
begin traveling from loan company to 
loan company. That's like trying to 
drink yourself sober." 

It is impossible for anyone to borrow 
himself out of debt. 

The declaration made by the Church 
that "work is to be . . . the ruling 
principle of the lives of church mem- 
bership" should settle any questions 
we may have about the ever-growing 
feeling and belief that people can live 
off the public without laboring. (Wel- 
fare Plan Handbook, p. 1.) 

Perhaps many of us need to take a 
good look at our own financial situa- 



tion and philosophy, because I fear 
that many Latter-day Saints are being 
swept into the rising tide of financial 
insolvency. The virtues of thrift and 
saving need to be taught in our fami- 
lies. In accordance with the teachings 
of the Church, let us try to be free 
of debt and have an adequate reserve 
of food, clothing, and money to meet 
an emergency. Remember the adage: 
"A family out of debt is out of 
danger." 

Wise family budgeting begins with 
obeying the law of tithing, for the 
payment of tithing puts the mind at 
ease and alert to cope with other es- 
sentials of family financial matters. 
Publilius Syrus said: "When the mind 
rules wisely, money is a blessing"; 
hence, wisdom in spending can be a 
blessing to any family. Failure of a 
married couple to handle wisely and 
efficiently the thousands of dollars 
they receive and disburse during mar- 
riage may lead to the chaos and dis- 
aster of divorce and the listing of 
their marriage failure in the "vital 
statistics'" column of the newspaper. 
This must not happen. 

Since marriage is a fulfillment of a 
divine command, we should take God 
into our partnership with the implied 
promise that we will sustain him and 
his truth. Our homes must foster the 
lasting virtues of honesty, thrift, 
work, self-discipline, sacrifice, econ- 
omy, obedience, production, and free- 
dom from debt. These are important 
facets of the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
which gospel is "the power of God 
unto salvation to every one that be- 
lieveth. . . ." (Rom. 1:16.) 

May we catch its visions and bless- 
ings, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Be Humble and Strong 

Franklin D. Richards 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• During the early history of the 
Church the Lord, in revelations to the 
Prophet Joseph Smith, explained that 
the fullness of his gospel would be 
restored and that it would be pro- 
claimed by the weak and simple unto 
the ends of the world, and before kings 
and rulers (D&C 1:23), that he re- 
quired their heart and a willing mind, 
and that they should not weary in 
well-doing. (D&C 64:33-34.) 

And inasmuch as they are humble, 
they would be made strong, and 
blessed from on high, and receive 
knowledge from time to time. 



They would have power to lay the 
foundation of this Church and to 
bring it forth out of obscurity and out 
of darkness. (D&C 1:28, 30.) 

In these revelations the Lord ex- 
plained his use of weak and simple 
instruments to proclaim his gospel. 
However, he gave them command- 
ments that they might possess under- 
standing and knowledge, receive 
power and become strong, thereby 
qualifying themselves to be effective 
servants. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith is the 
chief example. He was weak insofar 



1124 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



as the learning of men is concerned; 

but because he was humble, obedient, 
and possessed a willing mind, he be- 
came a mighty and strong leader and 
witness of the divinity of our Lord 
and Savior Jesus Christ. 

In all ages this has been the pattern 
for those who would succeed in the 
work of the ministry: humility, 
prayer, dedication, and a desire and 
willingness to learn the will of the 
Lord. 

With the development and applica- 
tion of these qualities come knowledge, 
power, and strength. 

Membership in The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints provides 
many opportunities to participate in 
the building of the kingdom of God, 
and what a great privilege this is. We 
should, therefore, have an impelling 
desire to be humble and become 
strong, that we might be worthy and 
able instruments — strong spiritually, 
morally, mentally, physically, finan- 
cially, and in every other way. 

I would like to discuss the develop- 
ment of these qualities with you. 

President McKay has told us that 
the purpose of the gospel is to change 
men's lives, to make bad men good 
and good men better, and to change 
human nature. The great joy received 
in missionary work is to witness the 
change that comes into the lives of 
converts as they learn these eternal 
truths and apply them in their lives. 

Spiritual food is as essential as ma- 
terial food, and yet many are starving 
themselves spiritually. 

In this latter day the Lord has re- 
confirmed that his "Spirit is sent forth 
into the world to enlighten the humble 
and contrite. . . ." (D&C 136:33.) 

How do we receive this enlighten- 
ment? We must, of course, be humble, 
but we have also been instructed to 
"seek . . . diligently and teach one 
another words of wisdom; yea, seek 
ye out of the best books words of wis- 
dom; seek learning, even by study and 
also by faith." (D&C 88:118.) 

Let us remember that the best books 
include the Bible, the Book of Mor- 
mon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and 
the Pearl of Great Price, as they con- 
tain the words of the Lord to his chil- 
dren. 

In our studies we should also recog- 
nize the value of prayer and being 
submissive to inspiration from the 
Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a 
great teacher and revealer of truth and 
will quicken our minds. Everyone who 
has received the Holy Ghost has the 
privilege of this source of enlighten- 
ment, providing he is living in such a 
way as to be in tune with the Spirit. 

The Savior explained to the Prophet 
Joseph that "the glory of God is in- 
telligence, or in other words, light and 
truth" (D&C 93:36); that "it is impos- 
sible for a man to be saved in igno- 
rance" (D&C 131:6); and that 



"whatever principle of intelligence we 
attain unto in this life, it will rise 
with us in the resurrection." (D&C 
130:18.) 

The path is clearly defined — to seek 
diligently words of wisdom out of the 
best books by study and faith. Let us 
resolve today to study regularly the 
four standard works of the Church 
and other good books. 

Then, as we are enlightened and 
learn the great eternal principles of 
truth, we have the responsibility of 
applying them in our lives. Activity 
in the Church opens up many avenues 
of service whereby we can apply these 
eternal principles. Through service we 
evidence our love of God and of our 
fellowmen. 

We are told that as we are humble 
and do this, we will be endowed with 
power and receive growth and develop- 
ment, great joy and happiness. 

This is the path to spiritual, moral, 
and mental power and strength. 

Now let us consider the develop- 
ment of physical strength. 

One of the outstanding blessings of 
this earth life is to obtain a body for 
our spirit to inhabit. Lucifer's great 
punishment was that he should not 
possess a body. 

The Apostle Paul in writing to the 
Corinthian Saints said, "Know ye not 
that ye are the temple of God, and 
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in 
you? 

"If any man defile the temple of 
God, him shall God destroy; for the 
temple of God is holy, which temple 
ye are." (1 Cor. 3:16-17.) 

Inasmuch as our body is the abode 
of our spirit, the offspring of God, we 
should make certain that we do not 
defile it. To this end the Lord has 
given us a specific Word of Wisdom 
by revelation. 

This principle was given with a 
"promise, adapted to the capacity of 
the weak and the weakest of all saints, 
who are or can be called saints." 
(D&C 89:3.) It contains a promise 
that "all saints who remember to keep 
and do these sayings, . . . shall receive 
health in their navel and marrow to 
their bones; 

"And shall find wisdom and great 
treasures of knowledge, even hidden 
treasures; 

"And shall run and not be weary, 
and shall walk and not faint." (D&C 
89:18-20.) 

We are counseled in this revelation 
to eat and drink those foods and 
drinks that are beneficial to our bodies 
and to refrain from taking anything 
into our bodies that is injurious or 
harmful. We can likewise protect our 
health by getting proper exercise and 
rest. 

The Word of Wisdom is a basic law, 
and those who live the law will be 
strengthened in body and in mind. 

Now with reference to the develop- 



ment of financial strength: God has 

given us our free agency, but we are 
required to work for our sustenance, 
growth, and development. 

We frequently refer to the gospel as 
"the gospel of work." This principle 
incorporates the necessity of sustaining 
ourselves and our families. To properly 
fulfill this requirement in this day, 
we must be financially responsible or 
strong. Being strong financially does 
not necessarily mean being wealthy 
with earthly possessions; it means 
possessing sufficient to meet our re- 
quirements and living within our in- 
come rather than overextending 
ourselves. 

In modern revelation the Lord has 
given us these commandments: "Be- 
hold, it is said in my laws, or for- 
bidden, to get in debt to thine ene- 
mies." (D&C 64:27.) "And again, 
verily I say unto you, concerning your 
debts — behold it is my will that you 
shall pay all your debts." (D&C 104: 
78.) 

President Brigham Young repeatedly 
counseled the Saints to get out of debt 
and stay out of debt. Other Latter-day 
Prophets have given similar counsel. 
President Joseph F. Smith told the 
Saints, "Get out of debt and keep out 
of debt, and then you will be finan- 
cially as well as spiritually free." 

President Heber J. Grant said in 
one of his sermons, "If there is any 
one thing that will bring peace and 
contentment into the human heart, 
and into the family, it is to live within 
our means; and if there is one thing 
that is grinding, and discouraging and 
disheartening, it is to have debts and 
obligations that one cannot meet." 
(Relief Society Magazine, Vol. 19, page 
302.) 

One of the Relief Society lessons 
deals with this subject, and the appro- 
priate title is "Don't Let Your Yearn- 
ings Exceed Your Earnings." This 
lesson is certainly in line with the 
injunctions of the Lord to his people. 
Today much unhappiness results from 
financial problems; they are a major 
factor in unhappy marriages, many of 
which result in divorce. 

Personal financial weaknesses come 
about primarily* by unwise use of credit 
and obligating ourselves for more than 
we receive. This frequently brings 
about bankruptcy, and unfortunately, 
bankruptcies have greatly increased 
during the last few years. 

Many business failures are likewise 
the result of overextension and inabil- 
ity to finance the enterprise properly. 

I counsel you to get out of debt and 
stay out of debt, and if it is necessary 
to use credit, use it wisely and spar- 
ingly. Financial strength is realized by 
keeping God's commandments, one of 
which is the payment of an honest 
tithe, and by developing habits of 
work, thrift, and living within one's 
income. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1125 



It is vital to our welfare and happi- 
ness that we be strong financially as 
well as spiritually, morally, mentally, 
and physically. In all ages men and 
women who have had important mis- 
sions to perform possessed great 
strength. The trek to Utah of the 
Mormon pioneers, many of whom 
were our ancestors, was made by those 
who were strong in purpose and in 
faith. They left us a noble heritage. 

Today's problems are, in many re- 
spects, different from those confront- 
ing our pioneer forefathers. However, 
our problems are as real and important 
to us as their problems were to them, 
and it requires great strength and faith 
on the part of men, women, and chil- 
dren to successfully meet today's 
challenges. 

We should consistently study the 
gospel, as it teaches us in simple terms 
how to develop this strength. These 
gospel principles are eternal. As we 
apply them in our lives, we are able 
to meet our challenges with purpose, 
faith, and vision, as did our forebears, 



and become strong instruments in 
the hands of the Lord in building the 
kingdom. Yes, as we do our part, the 
Lord will make us equal to the tasks 
that lie ahead. 

I am grateful for my knowledge that 
God lives and that Jesus Christ is our 
Savior and Redeemer, that the gospel 
in its fullness was restored to earth 
through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and 
that we have a great Prophet at the 
head of the Church today, our beloved 
President David O. McKay. May the 
Lord bless and sustain him as he con- 
tinues to inspire us and give us strength. 

In October 1831 the Lord through 
revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith 
said to William E. M'Lellin, ". . . he 
that is faithful shall be made strong 
in every place; and I, the Lord, will 
go with you." (D&C 66:8.) 

Each of us has this same assurance: 
As we are faithful we shall be made 
strong in every place, and the Lord 
will go with us. May this be our great 
desire and blessing I pray in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Found Not Wanting 

Alma Sonne 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My brethren and sisters, I have just 
read the autobiography of Elder John 
A. Widtsoe in a book called In a Sun- 
lit Land. I read from Chapter 15, 
entitled "Apostleship": 

"Since my boyhood I had known the 
restored gospel to be true. In my col- 
lege days I had subjected it to every 
test known to me. Throughout my life 
it had made the days joyous. Doubt 
had fled. I possessed the Truth and 
understood, measurably, the pure and 
simple gospel of Jesus Christ. 

"I had studied the gospel as care- 
fully as any science. [And please re- 
member that Brother Widtsoe was a 
scientist in his own right, so regarded 
in this country and across the sea 
in Europe.] The literature of the 
Church I had acquired and read. Dur- 
ing my spare time, day by day, I had 
increased my gospel learning. And 
I had put gospel truth to work in my 
daily life, and had never found it 
wanting. 

"The claims of Joseph Smith the 
Prophet had been examined and 
weighed. No scientific claim had re- 
ceived a more thorough analysis. 
Everywhere the divine mission of the 
latter-day prophet was confirmed. 



"The restored Church has been com- 
pared with other churches. Doctrine 
for doctrine, principle for principle, 
organization for organization, the 
churches had been placed side by side. 

"Compared with the churches of the 
world, the Church of Jesus Christ, 
as restored through Joseph Smith, 
stood like a field of ripening grain 
by the side of scattering stalks." 

This was John A. Widtsoe's testi- 
mony, given to the world a short time 
before he passed on. It was based on 
investigation, research, and prayerful 
study. 

Dr. Widtsoe was not deceived. He 
had not only "weighed and examined" 
the claims of the Church; he had also 
introduced the saving principles into 
his life, as suggested by the Savior, 
when he said: 

"My doctrine is not mine, but his 
that sent me. 

"If any man will do his will, he 
shall know of the doctrine, whether 
it be of God, or whether I speak of 
myself." (John 7:16-17.) 

This teaching is sound and logical. 

Those who live the gospel and intro- 
duce it into their daily lives will find 
no reason to deny its power to save 



and uplift mankind. The gospel 
teaches that life after death is a reality. 
There is a spirit world. The ante- 
deluvians were there when Jesus taught 
the gospel among them. 

It is a place of reunion when mortal 
life is ended. We will meet our loved 
ones there, and I believe we will 
recognize them and mingle with them. 
Death is not the end. It is a forward 
step in the program to bring us back to 
God, who is our Father. 

I was 16 years old when I first read 
the Book of Mormon. Each time 
I have read it since then, it has been 
more appealing, more satisfying, and 
more reassuring about the mystery of 
life and death and the purpose and ob- 
jective of our sojourn in mortality. 

The gospel plan is in operation in 
the world. It is being presented as 
it was 1,900 years ago, with similar 
results and manifestations. 

From the beginning to the end, the 
Book of Mormon, which is at your 
disposal and mine, is a builder of faith 
in the true and living God and in 
his son, Jesus Christ. All of us need 
to strengthen our faith. It has given 
to the world a clearer concept of the 
Savior, his mission, and his position 
in the eternal plan to save and exalt 
God's children. Nothing has been 
brought forth during my life that has 
weakened my faith in that divine plan 
and in the story told by Joseph Smith 
the Prophet. 

Slowly, but surely, prejudice and 
antagonism are breaking down, and the 
light of God's truth is penetrating the 
dark places of the earth. The criticism 
and bigotry of the past are melting 
away, and the purifying and ennobling 
power of the restored gospel is touch- 
ing the hearts of humanity. 

Today, 12,000 missionaries are in- 
viting people everywhere to investigate 
the gospel message as thoroughly and 
carefully as did Elder John A. Widtsoe. 
He left no stone unturned to determine 
its validity and divinity. 

Who will evaluate this great man's 
power and influence as a missionary 
in Europe and elsewhere? His liter- 
ary contributions are tremendous, and 
his sermons and writings on gospel 
themes would fill volumes. 

The Church presents a progressive 
religion. We are constantly moving 
to higher ideals. We existed before 
we came to earth. Our future life is 
inseparably connected with this life 
here on earth. 

Those who destroy the divinity of 
Christ must also contend with and 
destroy his servants, like Paul, the 
Apostle to the Gentiles; like the Book 
of Mormon, which is a witness to all 
men that Jesus is the Christ. The 
Apostle Paul provides the same con- 
vincing evidence as the Book of Mor- 
mon that Christ lived, that he died on 
the cross, and that he rose from the 
dead. Paul heard the voice of the Re- 



1126 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



deemer; he was baptized for the remis- 
sion of his sins and became a messenger 
of life and salvation to the Jews and 
the Gentiles. This great man, a servant 
of God, as was Dr. John A. Widtsoe, 
has given purpose and significance to 
your life and mine. His message was 
from God, and God enlightens this 



world through the prophets whom 
he has chosen. 

May our hearts go to God. May we 
be true and faithful and devoted to 
our sacred covenants, and may we do 
our part to build up his kingdom upon 
the earth, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Rearing Children Wisely 

Bishop Victor L. Brown 
Of the Presiding Bishopric 



• The laws of Utah prohibit the use 
of firecrackers. In a neighboring state 
they are permitted. This summer, 
while visiting in this neighboring 
state, our 12-year-old son, with his 
friends, had great fun with his fire- 
works. We told him it would be neces- 
sary for him to dispose of all of the 
firecrackers before going home. This 
seemed rather silly to him. If it were 
legal in one town, why not in the 
next, only a few miles away? He 
finally complied. 

Upon arriving home, he found a 
neighbor boy who still had some. The 
temptation was just too great, so he 
bought a few from his friend. What 
could it possibly hurt? Firecrackers 
aren't much fun unless you do some- 
thing with them, which these boys 
set out to do. 

This happened while his mother 
and I were away for the evening. 
Through some strange coincidence, a 
police officer found out about it, picked 
the boys up, and returned them home. 

Can you imagine being 12 years old 
and having a policeman return you 
home for breaking the law? — particu- 
larly after having just graduated from 
Primary, where you had learned the 
twelfth Article of Faith, "We believe 
... in obeying, honoring, and sus- 
taining the law," and having just been 
ordained a deacon in the Aaronic 
Priesthood, at which time you prom- 
ised your bishop you would honor the 
priesthood, and also having just be- 
come a Boy Scout. 

This was a traumatic experience 
indeed, and I am sure one that will 
never be forgotten by either of us. 

As he sat there waiting in our living 
room for us to return home, the 
thought of having let down the bishop, 
his parents, and, above all, his Heav- 
enly Father weighed heavily upon 
him. He wanted to tell us himself. 
He didn't want us to hear it from 
anyone else. 



Notwithstanding the disappoint- 
ment at his disobedience, which re- 
sulted in his breaking the law, my 
heart swelled with pride that he had 
the courage to voluntarily tell us of 
the trouble he had been in. There was 
no desire to deceive or mislead us. 

During the very serious discussion 
that followed his disclosure, it was 
implied that he had let others lead 
him and had not been strong enough 
to stand on his own feet. Then he 
said, "This is my responsibility. No 
one else is to blame." 

It was only after I had assured him 
that the only purpose of relating this 
experience was to try to help someone 
else learn from his mistake that he 
gave his permission for me to use it 
today. 

It seems to me that there are at least 
two lessons to be learned from this sad 
experience. The first one is quite ob- 
vious — the need to obey the law, no 
matter how small or unnecessary it 
may appear to be. In today's society, 
there are many who teach the philos- 
ophy that we have a right to break 
those laws we do not agree with. If 
each segment of our society were to 
adopt this attitude, anarchy would run 
rampant, and chaos would reign. 

One of the basic tenets of The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints is found in the twelfth Article 
of Faith, written by the Prophet Jo- 
seph Smith on March 1, 1842: "We 
believe in being subject to kings, pres- 
idents, rulers, and magistrates, in 
obeying, honoring, and sustaining the 
law." This, then, leaves no room for 
personal preference as to which laws 
we will obey. 

The second lesson is perhaps not 
quite so obvious, but it is, neverthe- 
less, vitally important, and that is: as 
parents, we share the responsibility for 
the actions of our children, whether 
their actions be for good or ill. I sup- 
pose there are none of us who wouldn't 



acknowledge the successes of our chil- 
dren and perhaps feel some pride in 
having had something to do with their 
achievements, but what happens when 
they make mistakes? Quite a different 
reaction takes place. Too often we give 
vent to feelings of anger. Whereas we 
had a hand in their success, we deny, 
through our actions, any part in their 
failure. 

What is the first thing that gener- 
ally happens when a child or young 
person confesses a wrongdoing to his 
parents? Many times, a serious rebuke 
or "perhaps even physical punishment 
results. This, of course, is the best way 
in the world to insure that hereafter 
the child will not confide in his par- 
ents. Seldom do we first think of the 
child's feelings and how the problem 
affects his life, but rather we feel that 
our pride is hurt or our reputation is 
damaged. I wonder how many mothers 
and fathers have said, "How can I 
possibly face my friends after this?" 
Are our feelings and actions for the 
benefit of the child or ourselves? 

Becoming a parent is one of the 
greatest blessings and opportunities in 
life. With this blessing comes grave 
responsibility. The home is the most 
important unit in all society, and par- 
ents to a great measure establish the 
spirit of the home. No responsibility 
is greater than the rearing of our chil- 
dren. Sometimes no responsibility is 
more difficult. When they do as we 
wish, there is no problem, but when 
they are rebellious and disobedient, 
there is a problem. Sometimes this 
problem requires all of the patience, 
understanding, and long-suffering it 
is possible for parents to muster. This 
does not mean that wise discipline is 
not necessary; on the contrary, it is ab- 
solutely necessary. 

There are those parents who will 
in effect abandon a child in trouble. 
Perhaps they have been rebellious and 
unruly and have caused many heart- 
aches. When do they need a greater 
measure of love and reassurance that 
all is not lost? Certainly when they 
are in difficulty, particularly if it is 
serious. 

We parents need to examine our 
reaction to these children who get into 
trouble. If we are to display true love, 
we will think of the child's needs first 
and ourselves last. 

I wonder about the judgment 
whereby we will be judged. You will 
recall the lesson taught us by the 
Savior regarding the prodigal son, who, 
after having wasted his life with 
riotous living, decided that he would 
return to his father's household. 

"And he arose, and came to his 
father. But when he was yet a great 
way off, his father saw him, and had 
compassion, and ran, and fell on his 
neck, and kissed him. 

"And the son said unto him, Father, 
I have sinned against heaven, and in 



DECEMBER 1966 



1127 



thy sight, and am no more worthy to 
be called thy son. 

"But the rather said to his servants, 
Bring forth the best robe, and put it 
on him: and put a ring on his hand, 
and shoes on his feet: 

"And bring hither the fatted calf, 
and kill it: and let us eat, and be 
merry: 

"For this my son was dead, and is 
alive again: he was lost, and is found 
. . . ." (Luke 15:20-24.) 

In a recent editorial in the Church 
News, a letter to the editor was pub- 
lished that to me has great significance 
in parent-child relationships. It reads: 

"I had an experience a few nights 
ago which I feel I should mention to 
you. 

"We had spent the evening at the 
cabin of some friends in upper Ogden 
Canyon, and as we drove home we 
found it necessary to telephone back to 
our friends at their cabin. 

"Accordingly we spent a half hour 
or so looking for a telephone. While 
I was making the call, an attractive 
young girl approached my wife sitting 
in our car in the parking lot, and 
asked if we would give her a ride to 
Ogden [Utah]. 

"It developed that she had been 
offended and frightened by her boy 
friend at a picnic ground lower down 
in the canyon. She left his car and 
walked alone up the dark canyon 
looking for a telephone to call some 
friends to come for her. 

"Being unsuccessful, and becoming 
more and more afraid, in desperation 
she approached a total stranger, my 
wife, for help. 

"In the course of her conversation, 
she had said that she was afraid to 
call her parents as they would 'die' if 
they knew she was in this situation. 

"She said, 'We are awfully religious: 
I don't suppose you are LDS, are you?' 

"When my wife told her that I was 
a bishop, she exclaimed in relief: 'O, 
I did come to the right car, didn't I?' 

"Two or three things impressed us 
about this experience: 

"First, the long-shot coincidence of 
a bishop stopping at a public telephone 
booth around midnight in upper 
Ogden Canyon, and finding there a 
lovely LDS girl seeking help. 

"Second, and more to the point, I 
was impressed by the fact that she 
was afraid to call her parents. 

"Here was a girl of obvious courage, 
having dared to leave the car of her 
boy friend and walk up the dark can- 
yon and approach a stranger for help, 
but yet without the courage to let her 
parents know of her danger and her 
need. 

"It reminded me of how a friend 
some years ago told me that he had 
taken his daughters to one side and 
told them: 'Any time you need my 
help, wherever you are or under what- 
ever conditions, all you need to do is 



call and I will comedo you.' 

"I have told my own daughter this, 
and the result has been that I have 
done a good deal of taxiing her and 
her friends around, but I have enjoyed 
every minute of it. 

"I wonder if an effective editorial 
might be written urging parents to let 
their children know they love them 
and that they are ready to help under 
any conditions, and urging children to 
confide in their parents, and call on 
them whenever they may need help. 

"Also, of course, young people should 
be cautioned to avoid getting into such 
situations in the first place." (Church 
News, September 10, 1966, p. 16.) 

Dr. Dana L. Farnsworth, in an arti- 
cle entitled "Six Rules for Parents 
Who Want Their Youngsters to Grow 
Up Secure and Self-reliant," says: 

"Whenever I talk to parent groups 
about their adolescent youngsters, one 
complaint invariably occupies much, 
if not most, of the discussion: 'Our 
children never tell us anything!' When 
communication lines break down be- 
tween parents and children, unhappi- 
ness and even tragedy may result. For 
their part, parents may think and do 
all the wrong things and thus build a 
wall between themselves and their 
children that may never be removed. 
As for teen-agers, they may develop 
antagonism toward their parents that 
can trigger all sorts of things, such as 
a rush into too-early marriage to escape 
unhappiness at home. When they grow 
into adulthood, youngsters may al- 
ways regard all persons in authority, 
such as bosses, with fear or mistrust. 

"In every case of broken communica- 
tions, the trouble started many years 
before the child's adolescence. Un- 
wittingly, parents themselves had 



begun snipping the wires when the 
children were young. You can keep 
the lines intact, so that messages (and 
understanding) can move freely be- 
tween the generations, in these ways 
[I shall quote only two of them] : . . . 

"2. By curbing your temper. Fre- 
quent displays of great anger can so 
terrify a child that he withdraws emo- 
tionally from you. Justified irritation 
at something he does wrong is accept- 
able, and even beneficial, but uncon- 
trollable rage is something else." 

"6. By disciplining him properly and 
fairly when necessary. I know of no 
better way of showing a child he is 
truly loved than by firm discipline. 
And a child who knows he is loved 
is not likely to draw too far away 
from his family." (This Week Maga- 
zine, June 19, 1966.) 

Now to conclude my story: Several 
days after the incident with the police 
officer, my son and I were discussing 
some of the social problems he would 
face in his first year at junior high 
school. 

After explaining some of these prob- 
lems, I expressed my faith in him that 
he would have the courage to with- 
stand these temptations. He said, "You 
really have faith in, me, even after I 
got into trouble with the law?" 

May the Lord bless each parent with 
vision and understanding in their early 
years of parenthood so that they do 
not find it necessary to experiment on 
four or five children before arriving 
at an understanding of how to rear 
them wisely. 

I know that God lives, that this is 
his Church and that he is the Father 
of the spirits of these choice children 
who have come to bless our homes. 
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Repent and Turn to God 



Eldred G. Smith 
Patriarch to the Church 



• Since the dawn of history, civiliza- 
tions have fallen or been destroyed 
when the people became ripened in 
iniquity. It seems that when we, as 
mortals, follow the path of least re- 
sistance, our moral standards fall 
rather than rise. 

Genesis tells us of the conditions 
which preceded the flood. The book 
of Moses gives more detail. Noah 
preached to the people, calling them 
to repentance, but they mocked him 
and refused to listen. The Lord sent 



the flood in his anger against the 
wickedness of the people. Only Noah, 
his wife, and his three sons and their 
wives were saved — and that because 
of their righteousness. 

Time and again throughout Bible 
and Book of Mormon history the 
wicked multitudes have been destroyed 
and only those who were the more 
righteous remained. Does this mean 
that God does not strive to help his 
people and to teach them? No! His 
prophets are preaching the word of 



1128 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



God. Enoch preached to the wicked 
people with such success that they be- 
came righteous — so righteous, in fact, 
that the entire city of Zion "was not, 
for God received it up into his own 
bosom." (Moses 7:69.) 

It is said that history repeats itself. 
If this is true, and I believe it is, then 
the Book of Mormon should be one of 
the most valuable records we have. It 
gives us a record of a people from 
their small beginning, through many 
generations, through growth and decay. 

Here, then, we should find the 
answer to all the national problems 
of peace and war. What do we find? 
Look at the over-all story and we find 
a continual wave of peace with righ- 
teousness on the one hand and wars 
accompanied by, or the result of, un- 
righteousness on the other. 

The Book of Mormon early in the 
history records a great promise refer- 
ring to the people who should possess 
this land (the Americas). The Lord 
made the promise that if they should 
"serve him according to the command- 
ments which he hath given, it shall 
be a land of liberty unto them; where- 
fore, they shall never be brought down 
into captivity; if so, it shall be because 
of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound 
cursed shall be the land for their sakes. 
but unto the righteous it shall be 
blessed forever." (2 Ne. 1:7. Italics 
added.) The word "forever" brings 
this promise to us in this day also. 

This promise and warning is re- 
peated often in the Book of Mormon. 
Yet, all through history we find wars, 
and contentions associated • with sin 
and unrighteousness. 

When the people were faithful in 
keeping his commandments, God 
blessed them with prosperity and 
peace and helped them fight their 
battles against their enemies. The fol- 
lowing is typical of many such ex- 
amples: 

". . . the Nephites had all power 
over their enemies; and thus the La- 
manites did attempt to destroy the 
Nephites until their chief captains 
were all slain; yea, and more than a 
thousand of the Lamanites were slain; 
while, on the other hand, there was 
not a single soul of the Nephites which 
was slain." (Al. 49:23.) 

The Lamanite leader "was exceed- 
ingly wroth, and he did curse God, 
and also Moroni, . . . and this because 
Moroni had kept the commandments 
of God in preparing for the safety of 
his people. 

"And it came to pass, that on the 
other hand, the people of Nephi did 
thank the Lord their God, because of 
his matchless power in delivering them 
from the hands of their enemies." (Al. 
49:27-28.) 

The story of the sons of Helaman is 
another matchless tale of the blessings 
of God and the rewards for keeping 
his commandments. 



These promises refer as much to us 
today as they did to the time in which 
they were given. You cannot deny 
that God has guided our destiny, that 
the settlement of this land, the decla- 
ration against tyranny, the war that 
followed, the framing of a constitu- 
tion — all have been guided by the 
hand of God. How else could his 
gospel have been brought forth, were 
it not for the blessed freedom provided 
in this "land of promise"? 

And now here we are today, the 
recipients of the greatest blessings of 
all time. What are we doing with 
them? 

Where are we now in this cycle of 
life — this cycle of righteousness with 
peace and prosperity or unrighteous- 
ness and wickedness, accompanied by 
wars and destruction? This is what an 
editorial from the San Francisco Exam- 
iner has to say: 




"What has happened to our na- 
tional morals? 

"An educator speaks out in favor 
of free love. 

"A man of God condones sexual 
excursions by unmarried adults. 

"Movies sell sex as a commercial 
commodity. 

"Bookstores and cigar stands peddle 
pornography. 

"A high court labels yesterday's 
smut as today's literature. 

"Record shops feature albums dis- 
playing nudes and near nudes. 

"Night clubs stage shows that 
would have shocked a smoker audi- 
ence a generation ago. 

"TV shows and TV commercials 
pour out a flood of sick, sadistic and 
suggestive sex situations. 

"A campaign is launched to bring 



acceptance to homosexuality. 

"Radio broadcasts present discus- 
sions for and against promiscuity. 

"Magazines and newspapers publish 
pictures and articles that flagrantly 
violate the bounds of good taste. 

"Birth control counsel is urged for 
high school girls. 

"Look around you. These things 
are happening in your America. In 
the two decades since the end of World 
War II, we have seen our national 
standards of morality lowered again 
and again. 

"We have seen a steady erosion of 
past principles of decency and good 
taste. 

"And — we have harvested a whirl- 
wind. As our standards have lowered, 
our crime levels and social problems 
have increased. 

"Today, we have a higher percen- 
tage of our youth in jail ... in re- 
formatories ... on probation and in 
trouble than ever before. 

"Study the statistics on illegitimate 
births ... on broken marriages . . . 
on juvenile crimes ... on school drop- 
outs ... on sex deviation ... on dope 
addiction ... on high school mar- 
riages ... on crimes of passion. 

"The figures are higher than ever. 
And going higher." 

How do we stand today? 

With this level of corruption at 
home, how can we expect to have 
peace or victory on the battlefield? 
Satan knows that time is short, and 
he's waging an all-out effort to win. 
He's stopping at nothing. 

The enemy in Viet Nam is the same 
enemy at home. It is the same force 
of evil that is the cause of riots and 
destruction all over our country. The 
same force that is causing all the 
conditions referred to in the San 
Francisco Examiner is prevalent all 
over our land. 

With conditions at home as here 
described, is it any wonder that we 
are at war in Viet Nam? The answer 
for peace is not military might alone. 
We must turn to God and keep his 
commandments. We must seek him in 
prayer, and be sincere in our prayers. 
We must cleanse ourselves from all 
iniquity. We must humble ourselves. 
We must again make the home sacred, 
and we must honor virtue! 

There is only one answer: Repent 
and turn to God. 

Will you who are within the sound 
of my voice strive with your whole 
souls to live the kind of life Christ 
would have you lead? to "love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy 
mind. . . . And . . . love thy neigh- 
bour as thyself"? (Matt. 22:37, 39.) 

"Let your light so shine before men, 
that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father which is in 
heaven." (Matt. 5:16.) 

President McKay has said: "Peace 



DECEMBER 1966 



1129 



is the exemption from individual 
troubles, from family brawls, from 
national difficulties. Peace does not 
come to the transgressor of law. Peace 
comes by obedience to law, peace to 
the individual that he may be at peace 
with God, at peace in the home, and 
in the neighborhood. Peace can come 
into the world only through obedience 



to the gospel of Jesus Christ." 

I pray that we may all keep the 
commandments of the Lord, that we 
may have the blessings promised that 
this "shall be a land of liberty" and 
"never be brought down into cap- 
tivity," that this land shall be "blessed 
forever." (2 Ne.' 1:7.) 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Your Potential for Success 

Marion D. Hanks 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• Last Tuesday morning when I faced 
ten or twelve thousand Brigham Young 
University students in their assembly, 
I thought of a line from, a recent 
movie (probably the only film I have 
seen recently besides the home teach- 
ing film!) about England. I thought 
of the same line today as I looked at 
these wonderful singing mothers, 
appropriate for the son of a great Re- 
lief Society worker. The line, you may 
remember, was spoken on the rooftops 
of London. What was said can best 
be appreciated by English people and 
those who love them. The line was 
(in cockney), "Coo, what a sight!" 
I thought of that today as I saw this 
chorus of beautiful ladies. 

Let me illustrate an idea, rather than 
talk about it. 

Last conference I quoted a line from 
a strong source, a sobering line! "You 
can count the seeds in an apple, but 
can you count the apples in a seed?" 

Since then, there has come to my 
attention the story of William Jen- 
nings Bryan, who, looking at a water- 
melon seed alongside a beautiful 
40-pound watermelon, decided to con- 
duct an experiment. He found that a 
pound of watermelon seeds numbers 
about 5,000; and then he figured that 
one watermelon seed, gathering ma- 
terial 200,000 times its weight and 
somehow getting that material through 
a thin little stem, had produced the 
40-pound watermelon. 

The other illustration is from one of 
your stakes. In the early days of my 
service in the First Council of the 
Seventy, I observed in the records of 
a stake to which I was assigned that 
this stake had a very strong elders 
quorum. I was anxious to discover why. 
I asked the stake president in advance 
if we might hear from the three mem- 
bers of the presidency of that quorum 
at our Saturday night meeting. This 
was arranged. 



The quorum president who spoke 
was a professional man who had been 
very faithful in the Church but whose 
duties had made it difficult for him 
to devote time to active leadership, 
and so he had really never before held 
an office. Now he had been called 
to be the president of the elders quo- 
rum by a wonderful man who believed 
in him and in his potential, and he 
took the assignment. He wanted to 
succeed in it, so he worked and pre- 
pared himself and got some good help 
and started out. He told us how he 
had divided the elders quorum area 
into certain segments. He and a com- 
panion had taken one segment, his 
counselor and a companion another 
segment, and the other counselor and 
the secretary, each accompanied by a. 
companion, also took segments of the 
quorum area. 

They had started out with what I 
understand to be the spirit of home 
teaching in our time, although they 
were working under a little different 
program in their elders leadership. 
They decided that an occasional visit 
just wouldn't do the job, because this 
quorum was quiescent, to say the best. 
In fact, when the leaders were chosen, 
there were scarcely any others they 
could count on. So the president and 
his counselors, with companions, vis- 
ited these homes, humbly and ear- 
nestly trying to get involved in the lives 
of the men and their families. At the 
end of the quarter they shifted areas 3 
so that at the end of the year (they 
hadn't quite finished the year, 
actually) all of the members of the 
presidency had become deeply identi- 
fied with every man in that quorum. 

This choice leader bore his testi- 
mony of gratitude for the opportunity 
he had had and sat down in tears. 
I leaned to the stake president and 
said, "I understand." He said, "Wait 
a minute." 



The first counselor was a young 
sales executive who had invested great 
imagination and creative ability in his 
leadership. He was charged under the 
program with the responsibility of the 
church service of the men, and this 
meant temporal and religious activity 
projects. Their temple attendance was 
high, their quorum attendance 
uniquely high, their sacrament meet- 
ing attendance wonderfully strong. 
They had projects of all kinds. I re- 
member his mentioning one. They had 
assigned every man in that rural stake 
to grow a little porker to sell, but the 
market went down. He turned around 
and said to the president with a smile, 
"I forget how much money we lost 
on the project, president, but every 
single man in the quorum responded 
to the challenge and was involved." 

When he sat down, I thought I 
knew why this quorum was what it 
was, so I leaned to the president and 
said, "I understand." He said, "Wait 
a minute." 

We then had called to the pulpit a 
young farmer, married, with several 
children. I suppose he didn't have as 
much formal education as his com- 
panions, but he had a kind of Abra- 
ham Lincoln honesty about him that 
communicated quickly, and what he 
said I don't think I will ever forget. 

He said, "When the stake president 
asked me to be the second counselor 
in this quorum of elders I said, Who 
are the others?' He said, 'Brother 

and Brother ' And I 

said, 'I don't know those fellows very 
well. Do they intend to succeed, or 
are they going to fail?' The president 
said, 'We assume they intend to suc- 
ceed.' And I said, 'Don't assume it; 
ask them. If they intend to succeed, I 
will take the job. If they are going to 
fail, I don't want anything to do with 
it. I am not about to get associated 
with an outfit that starts out to fail.' 

"Well," he said, "the president 
asked them and they said they in- 
tended to succeed, so I took the job. 
Now," he said, without the trace of a 
smile (and I think it was really a 
guileless statement, although all of us 
laughed a little), "I want to tell you 
that these are successful priesthood 
leaders. They are great, successful 
priesthood leaders, and the reason they 
are is me." 

Let me quickly tell you again, he 
wasn't being immodest or arrogant. 
The people responded. They knew 
him. They knew he meant it and how 
he meant it. 

In those days his assignment would 
make him chairman of a committee 
called "fact-finding," "statistical," or 
"reporting," as we came to say. I won- 
der how many of you would get the 
fire charged in your veins with that 
nomenclature. Somehow it did his. He 
really believed that his assignment 
was the most important in the Church. 



1 130 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



He knew that successful priesthood 
leaders can't really do their jobs unless 
they have a clear concept of where 
they are going and a foundation of 
facts upon which they may move. He 
supplied that. He knew more about 
the men in that quorum, I feel quite 
certain, than almost any other com- 
parable officer in a quorum in the 
Church. And it expressed itself, this 
concern, with a quorum that had come 
alive almost like Nehemiah led Jeru- 
salem to a rebirth long ago. 

Now I would like to bear a testi- 
mony of appreciation and deep re- 
spect for you wonderful brethren and 



sisters who serve in the Church, who 
have the courage and the faith to face 
up to circumstances that are often 
quite difficult, maybe even depressing, 
but you do it. God bless you to re- 
member that while the results may 
not be as spectacular as in this choice 
quorum, it is a certainty that if you, 
with honesty and integrity and a sense 
of your commission, seek to do the 
job the Lord has called you to do, 
wonderful results will occur. I know 
that. I testify of it and pray God for 
you and all like you who do the work 
of the Church, in the name .of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Saturday Evening Priesthood Session, October 1, 1966 



The Church-a Worldwide Institution 

President David 0. McKay 

(Read by his son Robert R. McKay) 



• My dear brethren of the priesthood : 

When we realize that eighty-five 
thousand or more members of the 
priesthood of the Church are assembled 
in this historic Tabernacle, the As- 
sembly Hall, and in 472 other build- 
ings throughout the United States and 
Canada, each one of whom can say 
in his own heart, "I know that my 
Redeemer lives," we can sense, at 
least dimly, the strength of this 
Church; for upon the priesthood rests 
the entire structure of the Church ol 
Jesus Christ. This vast assembly of 
priesthood members of itself is an in- 
spiration, especially when you contem- 
plate its significance and realize that 
in the brotherhood of Christ we are 
all one, supporting one another. It is 
truly sublime! 

I pray for your sympathy, for your 
faith and prayers, and above all, for 
the inspiration of the Lord, that the 
message I give may be of interest and 
contributive to the advancement of 
God's work. 

The mission of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints may be 
considered in two great aspects: (1) 
the proclamation to the world of the 
restoration of the gospel of Jesus 
Christ — the declaration to all mankind 
that God the Father and his Son 
Jesus Christ appeared in this dispensa- 
tion to the Prophet Joseph Smith; 
(2) the other great purpose of the 
Church is to translate truth into a 
better social order or, in other words, 
to make our religion effective in the 
individual lives of men and in improv- 
ing social conditions. 

It is the first great purpose to which 



I wish to call attention this evening. 

On a momentous occasion two thou- 
sand years ago, eleven men assembled 
near a mountain in Galilee — eleven 
humble, obscure men who had been 
chosen and ordained apostles of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. According to ap- 
pointment, these men met the resur- 
rected Christ, who made what to them 
must have been a startling declaration. 
They had been with their Master fewer 
than three years and had been ex- 
pressly enjoined by him to go not 
in the way of the Gentiles, to enter no 
city of the Samaritans, but to go 
rather to the lost sheep of the house of 
Israel. (Matt. 10:6.) At this meeting, 
however, as his final parting instruc- 
tions, he opened their eyes to the 
universality of the gospel by giving 
them this divine commission: 

"Go ye therefore, and teach all na- 
tions, baptizing them in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost: 

"Teaching them to observe all 
things whatsoever I have commanded 
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world." 
(Matt. 28:19-20.) 

In the restricted experience of these 
eleven disciples, the idea of preaching 
Christ and his saving doctrine to any 
but members of their own race germi- 
nated very slowly. Indeed, the Savior 
of men found it necessary to give an- 
other direct revelation to Peter, the 
chief apostle, before he fully realized 
that the Gentiles "should hear the 
word of the gospel, and believe." (Acts 
15:7.) 

However, as the light of truth 



dawned in their hearts, these earnest 
followers set about to give the gospel 
to the world — "twelve simple men, 
with only the wind to bear them over 
the seas, with only a few pence in 
their pockets, and a shining faith in 
their hearts. They fell far short of 
their ideal, their words were twisted 
and mocked, and false temples were 
built over their bones, in praise of a 
Christ they would have rejected. And 
yet, by the light of their inspiration 
many of the world's loveliest things 
were created, and many of the world's 
finest minds inspired." (Beverly Nich- 
ols, The Fool Hath Said [New York: 
Doubleday, 1936].) 

The followers of the Redeemer were 
reviled, persecuted, and martyred, but 
they continued to testify to the truth 
of their risen Lord. 

Three hundred years passed, and 
Christianity became the dominant re- 
ligion of the most powerful nation 
in the world, and the persecuted be- 
came the persecutors. Pride and 
worldliness supplanted humility and 
faith. The church became corrupt. 
Doctrines of men supplanted the com- 
mandments of God; spiritual darkness 
enshrouded the nations of the world. 

Later, courageous, God-fearing men 
began to protest against the evil prac- 
tices of a corrupt clergy. The dawn 
of a spiritual awakening appeared, but 
none either claimed or received divine 
authority to re-establish the Church. 

Roger Williams, pastor of the oldest 
Baptist Church in America, resigned 
his position because, said he, "There 
is no regularly constituted church on 
earth, nor any person authorized to ad- 
minister any church ordinance; nor can 
there be until new apostles are sent 
by the Great Head of the Church, for 
whose coming I am seeking." (From 
Picturesque America, page 502.) 

We know that that authority came 
early in the nineteenth century by the 
personal appearance of the risen Lord. 
Again was given the divine injunction 
for authorized servants to be sent forth 
to the East and to the West, to the 
North and to the South that "every 
man might speak in the name of God 
the Lord, even the Savior of the world; 
That faith also might increase in the 
earth; That mine everlasting covenant 
might be established; That the fulness 
of my gospel might be proclaimed by 
the weak and the simple unto the 
ends of the world, and before kings 
and rulers." (D&C 1:20-23.) 

In Section 4 of the Doctrine and 
Covenants, the Prophet Joseph Smith 
received a revelation that "behold, a 
marvelous work is about to come forth 
among the children of men. 

"Therefore, O ye that embark in 
the service of God, see that ye serve 
him with all your heart, might, mind 
and strength, that ye may stand 
blameless before God at the last day." 
(D&C 4:1-2.) 



DECEMBER 1966 



1131 



When this revelation was given to 
the Prophet Joseph, he was only 23 
years of age. The Book of Mormon 
was not yet published; no man had 
been ordained to the priesthood. The 
Church was not organized; yet the 
statement was made and written with- 
out qualification that "a marvelous 
work [was] about to come forth among 
the children of men." 

Another significant feature of this 
revelation, and of others given about 
the same period, is the naming of 
essential qualifications of those who 
were to participate in the bringing 
about of this marvelous work. These 
qualifications were not the possession 
of wealth, not social distinction, not 
political preferment, not military 
achievement, not nobility of birth; but 
a desire to serve God with all your 
"heart, might, mind and strength" — 
spiritual qualities that contribute to 
nobility of soul. I repeat: No popular- 
ity, no wealth, no theological training 
in church government — yet "a mar- 
velous work [was] about to come forth 
among the children of men." 

Manifestly, some higher power was 
operating to bring about this marvel- 
ous work other than through mere 
human and material means. 

The same charge that was given by 
the risen Lord to his authorized 
disciples more than nineteen hundred 
years ago has been given by direct 
revelation to his authorized servants 
today. 

Though the Church is still young 
and has had to struggle through perse- 
cution, mobocracy, drivings, poverty, 
misrepresentation by egotists, unin- 
formed preachers, apostates, and by a 
prejudiced public sentiment, it is 
moving steadily forward toward its 
worldwide destiny. Almost immedi- 
ately after the organization of the 
Church, the proclamation of the 
restored gospel began. The Church 
was scarcely seven years old before the 
scope of missionary work had included 
the United States, Canada, and the 
British Isles. 

Since that humble beginning in 
1830, 75 missions, including one in 
Italy that has just recently been 
organized, have been established 
throughout the world. Our mission- 
aries, each paying individually, or with 
the aid of his parents, his or her own 
expenses, are now declaring to a 
troubled world that the message 
heralded at the birth of Jesus — "peace 
on earth, good will toward men" — 
may become a reality here and now 
by obedience to the principles of the 
gospel. 

They are instructed that they go out 
as representatives of the Church, as 
representatives of their families, and 
most important, as representatives of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, whose servants 
they are. They are instructed that a rep- 
resentative of any organization, eco- 




nomic or religious, must possess at least 
one outstanding quality, and that is 
trustworthiness. 

These missionaries go out in the 
spirit of love, seeking nothing from 
any nation to which they are sent — 
no personal acclaim, no monetary ac- 
quisition. 

What is the outstanding message 
that they have to give Christian, as 
well as non-Christian, countries? There 
must surely be something distinctive 
to justify their presence in all parts of 
the world. 

First, they are to declare the divinity 
of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Son of God, the Redeemer and 
Savior of mankind. They declare with 
Peter of old that "there is none other 
name under heaven given among men, 
whereby we must be saved." (Acts 
4:12.) 

The second distinctive message is the 
restoration of his gospel by the appear- 
ance of God the Father and his Son 
Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph 
Smith, and that divine authority 
through the priesthood has been given 
to represent Diety in establishing 
Christ's Church upon the earth. Thus, 
they are fulfilling to the best of their 
ability the injunction to preach the 
gospel to every creature, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and 
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 
teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever the Lord has commanded. 

True Christianity is love in action. 
There is no better way to manifest 
love for God than to show an unselfish 
love for our fellowmen. This is the 
spirit of missionary work. Our hearts 
respond with the poet: 

"O Brother Man! fold to thy heart 

thy brother; 
Where pity dwells, the peace of God 

is there; 
To worship rightly is to love each 

other, 



Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed 

a prayer." 

(From "Worship," by 
John Greenleaf Whittier.) 

This, then, is a worldwide Church, 
organized preparatory to the estab- 
lishment of the kingdom of God on 
earth. God has given us the power of 
whispering across space, of transmitting 
our thoughts within minutes from one 
end of the earth to another. Geo- 
graphical conditions or distances are 
just the same, but modern means of 
transportation have made practically 
all nations neighbors. 

Now, I am going to ask Brother 
Bernard P. Brockbank of the Church 
Information Committee and Brother 
Arch L. Madsen, president of Church 
broadcasting, to tell you what the 
Church is doing to disseminate the 
gospel by these modern means through 
our church information service and 
broadcasting facilities. 

May God bless you men of the 
priesthood. God bless our mission- 
aries and brethren everywhere for their 
willingness to consecrate their time, 
their means, and their ability to the 
advancement of the kingdom of God. 

I bear you my testimony that Joseph 
Smith was a prophet of God, and 
when I say this, it means that I know- 
that Jesus lives, that he is our Re- 
deemer, and that this is his Church. 
We are merely his representatives. 
When we accept that, then the reality 
of God the Father, the Father of our 
spirits, is easy to accept. 

With all my heart I bless you, and 
pray that peace and love and kindness 
will abide not only in your hearts but 
in your homes, that your wives, our 
wives, and our children, may have 
memories sweet of a home in which 
God would be pleased to dwell. 

May this be our lot, our experience 
throughout the Church in all the 
world, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



1132 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



To Help Every Member Be a Missionary 



Bernard P. Brockbank 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• Brethren in the priesthood: Isn't it 
marvelous to hear the great vision of 
a great Prophet? My, how he sees the 
great scope of the work to be done 
on this earth by the priesthood holders! 
Brethren, I hope you sense deeply in 
your hearts the power and the respon- 
sibility that you have. 

As President McKay opened the con- 
ference yesterday, he made this state- 
ment: "A proper conception [of the 
sacredness of the individual] would 
change the attitude of the world to 
the benefit and happiness of all human 
beings." "A proper conception of the 
sacredness of the individual," — in the 
image and likeness of Deity. 

The Apostle Paul tells us of the 
holiness and sacredness of the indi- 
vidual when he said, "Know ye not 
that ye are the temple of God, and 
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in 
you? 

"If any man defile the temple of 
God, him shall God destroy; for the 
temple of God is holy, which temple 
ye are." (1 Cor. 3:16-17.) 

Paul also said to the Corinthian 
Saints, ". . . know ye not that your 
body is the temple of the Holy Ghost 
which is in you, which ye have of 
God, and ye are not your own?" 
(1 Cor. 6:19.) 

We were created by God in his 
likeness and image, and we should not 
stand alone, but we should stay close 
with even the loyalty and love of a 
child to our Creator and Heavenly 
Father. The Creator is not without 
obligation to that which he created, 
and we who hold the priesthood of 
God have a great, important respon- 
sibility to our Lord and to his children. 
Only through priesthood holders, such 
as you, can God's children receive 
baptism by water and the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. Both are essential, ac- 
cording to Jesus Christ, for entrance 
back into the kingdom of heaven. And, 
of course, we know that many other 
great blessings are attached to the 
priesthood. 

We are called to help build the 
Church and kingdom of God on this 
earth. We who hold the priesthood 
literally need to be our brother's 
keeper. The day in which we live is 
the dispensation of the fullness of 
times. "The dispensations of the ful- 



ness of times is made up of all the 
dispensations that ever have been given 
since the world began, until this time." 
(Letter by David W. Patten, Docu- 
mentary History of the Church, Vol. 
6, p. 220.) 

In 1830, near the opening of this 
dispensation, there were approximately 
a billion people on the earth; 137 years 
later, today, over three and a half bil- 
lion; by 1970, four billion; and it is 
predicted, by men who know what 
they are talking about, that by the 
turn of the century, 2000 AD, there 
will be seven billion of God's children 
upon this earth. 

It is a great and glorious period of 
time for the righteous and an era 
when the unrighteous will also prosper. 

The President also declared in his 
opening message at this conference 
that this "is a glorious age in which 
to live, but no thinking man will 
doubt that this age is fraught with 
limitless perils, as well as with untold 
possibilities." 

After the death and resurrection of 
Jesus Christ, prior to his departure 
from this earth and his return to the 
kingdom of heaven, he gave important 
instructions to all those who would 
represent him and participate in 
building his Church and kingdom on 
this earth. And this was repeated 
twice by the Prophet in the message 
just delivered by his son Robert. Ac- 
cording to the Gospel of Matthew, the 
closing words of the Savior just prior 
to his ascension to his Father were: 
"Go ye therefore, and teach all na- 
tions. . . . 

"Teaching them to observe all 
things whatsoever I have commanded 
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world." 
(Matt. 28:19-20.) That includes us; 
it includes the priesthood holders here 
assembled. We are to teach the gospel 
and commandments of Jesus Christ. 

Similar statements were made by the 
Savior according to the Gospel of Mark 
and the Gospel of Luke. 

The Apostle John in giving the clos- 
ing words of the Savior showed a 
rather interesting and beautiful scene 
of the Savior and Peter, the man he 
was to leave in charge of his Church. 
He asked Peter, "Lovest thou me?" 
three times. And the great answer 



from the great Teacher, the Lord and 
Savior, was: "Feed my lambs; feed my 
sheep." (See John 21:15-17.) 

Priesthood holders, do you love the 
Lord? Do you have any hungry lambs 
and sheep in your area — friends and 
neighbors hungry for God's righteous- 
ness and the gospel plan of salvation — 
good, honest people waiting for the 
voice of a righteous teacher who speaks 
as one having authority, one with 
the priesthood and authority from 
God? 

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my 
voice. . . ." (John 10:27.) The voice 
to mortal man must come from an 
authorized teacher and servant of the 
Lord. 

Our assignment, brethren, with all 
the Latter-day Saints, is to teach the 
doctrines, ordinances, and command- 
ments of Jesus Christ. 

I repeat what Jesus said, "Teaching 
. . . whatsoever I have commanded 
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world." 
(Matt. 28:20.) 

We are to teach every nation, 
kindred, tongue, and people. The 
Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
when there were only one billion of 
his children, on this earth, that the 
field was white and ready to harvest. 
(D&C 4:4.) 

Today, with over three and a half 
billion people on this earth, the task 
and responsibility of harvesting is 
great and challenging. The field to- 
day is still white and ready to harvest. 
Millions of honest in heart are waiting 
to be taught. 

Brethren, have we taught the gospel 
of Jesus Christ to two percent of God's 
children living on this earth today? 
Two percent would be more than 
seventy million people. When and how 
are we going to teach every nation, 
kindred, tongue, and people? 

The answer has been given by a 
Prophet of God. Every member of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints should be a missionary. 
Each member should bring one or 
more of his neighbors and friends into 
the Church each year. Each mem- 
ber must increase his faith and turn 
up his divine luster and candle power 
and let his light so shine before men 
that they may see his good works, and 
glorify their Father which is in heaven. 
(Matt. 5:16.) 

We will need greater unity between 
full-time missionaries, stake mission- 
aries, and the Saints in order to reach 
and teach additional millions. We 
need to supply the helps necessary so 
that over a million Saints can help 
the missionary work. 

The Lord said, ". . . by their fruits 
ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:20.) 
The fruits of the Church, of the gos- 
pel, and of the lives of the Saints 
need to be seen by the world. 

We have learned a great many 



DECEMBER 1966 



1133 



things from the success of the Mor- 
mon Pavilion at the New York World's 
Fair. We have learned that with 
finely created religious art, oil paint- 
ings, and sculptured pieces, movies 
and backlighted transparencies, we can 
arrest the interest and ' excite the 
imagination of nonmembers of the 
Church. 

But we have also learned something 
even more important: that the most 
valuable tool we have in delivering 
the message of the restored gospel of 
Jesus Christ is the testimony of the 
priesthood and the missionary. We 
have discovered that when one of our 
missionaries stands in front of a re- 
ligious painting and bears his testi- 
mony to the validity of its spiritual 
message, that same oil painting sud- 
denly becomes a powerful visual 
evidence for truth that is deeply etched 
on the minds of the investigators. 
They go away remembering both what 
they heard and what they saw, and 
the honest in heart have had a spiri- 
tual experience. 

So it is that we now stand at this 
point of bright discovery. We must 
blend the testimony of the missionary 
with vital and powerful visual mes- 
sages; we must accelerate our effective- 
ness in giving outsiders something 
they can both see and hear. 

Today we must find ways to reach 
and teach millions and even billions 
by having them come to centers 
where the teachings and fruits of the 
gospel of salvation and God's plan 
of life are on exhibit and where 
the teacher filled with faith, love, and 
the Holy Ghost can touch their 
hearts. Millions of the Saints can 
participate. 

Under the direction of the First 
Presidency and the Council of the 
Twelve, we are creating and setting 
up visitors' centers with visual aids 
and missionaries to teach and reach 
millions. 

The new visitors' center right here 
on Temple Square, just to the north of 
this building, will be completed some- 
time early next year. It will hold 
some of the great messages of the 
latter-day restoration. These will be 
in the form of specially created arti- 
facts. The great Thorvaldsen statue 
that was also shown in the Mormon 
Pavilion at the New York World's 
Fair now stands on the second floor 
and has as a background a 12,000- 
square-foot mural of the firmament 
with the celestial bodies painted. There 
is also a 150-foot painted mural show- 
ing outstanding scenes on the life and 
teachings and examples of Christ. 
There are other great paintings of 
Christ ordaining the Twelve Apostles 
and Joseph Smith receiving the Mel- 
chizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, 
and John. 

There will also be a First Vision 
diorama, a replica of the Sacred Grove. 



The trees will be duplicated facsimiles 
made from plaster molds taken right 
in the grove. Also displayed is a 
figure of the 14-year-old Joseph Smith 
as he kneels in this grove and looks 
into a light overhead which is "above 
the brightness of the sun" (Joseph 
Smith 2:16), depicting his first great 
vision and the first ray of light to this 
world after a period of darkness, show- 
ing that God lived and that man was 
literally in his image and likeness. 
We'll have a series of paintings, 
now being created, illustrating the 




Bishop John B. Garside of Lee Ward, Granite 
Park Stake, and Dean Berrett, priest, examine 
poster of Prophet Joseph Smith, referred to hij 
Klder Bernard P. Brockbank. 

great dispensations of the Bible, show- 
ing Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, 
Moses, and others. Some of these 
scenes will depict the great prophecies 
of the Old Testament, prophecies con- 
cerning the birth of Christ; concerning 
the apostasy and the restoration of the 
gospel; concerning the temple of the 
Lord being established in the "tops 
of the mountains." 

We'll have a series of rooms that 
will deal in fine detail with such sig- 
nificant subjects as "the plan of 
salvation," the scriptures, the contribu- 
tions of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
Brigham Young, and the pioneers, the 
apostasy and reformation, and, cer- 
tainly, the restoration and all its great 
fulfillment of prophecy throughout the 
ages of man. 

And the vision of the Church has 
swept beyond these works on Temple 
Square. We have now completed a 
great display at the Prophet's birth- 
place in Sharon, Vermont. Another 
has just been installed in Liberty, 
Missouri. 

We are now working on the possi- 
bility of a visitors' center at each of 
the temples throughout the Church. 

We are working to establish these 
visitors' centers with visual aids simi- 
lar to those used at the New York 
World's Fair and on Temple Square 



in Salt Lake City but with the ex- 
hibits fitting in with the particular 
area. 

We've had over 75 requests from 
various church groups for help in pre- 
paring displays this fall. Hundreds 
of fairs, both county and state, have 
asked for visual aids so that the local 
members of the Church can deliver 
the gospel message and bring people 
to an understanding of the beautiful 
doctrines of the Church. 

In conjunction with the missionary 
committee, the church information 
committee is now printing a series of 
large-sized posters that will tell in se- 
quence the message of the teachings 
and doctrines of Christ, the falling 
away, and the restoration of the gospel. 
The posters will be available soon. 
They will be a great help in many 
areas. 

New paintings are being painted by 
talented artists, depicting a wealth of 
scenes portraying with spirituality and 
inspiration the story of the gospel and 
attempting to relate to individuals 
their needs to repent of their sins 
and come unto Christ. 

The Book of Mormon is "to the 
convincing of the Jew and Gentile 
that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal 
God, manifesting himself unto all na- 
tions" (Book of Mormon title page), 
and displays of the Book of Mormon 
are being set up to bring this book 
and record closer to the people. It 
would be wise for every priesthood 
holder to have several copies of the 
Book of Mormon for missionary use 
with his friends and neighbors. 

When the visitors' centers and posters 
are ready, the members with the mis- 
sionaries can bring their friends and 
neighbors to see the exhibits. Other 
exhibits will be set up in homes and 
churches and in many areas for the 
use of the members. New motion 
pictures will be made. Millions have 
seen the motion picture, Man's Search 
for Happiness, and it has touched the 
hearts of many that had little or no 
concept of preexistence and life after 
death. 

The members are anxious, we dis- 
cover throughout the world, to follow 
the Prophet's counsel to do missionary 
work among their friends and neigh- 
bors, but they need the help of the 
great Christian teaching exhibits. 

This, brethren, is the greatest of all 
dispensations in which to do mission- 
ary work. Many millions are looking 
for the gospel of Jesus Christ as given 
in the God-inspired scriptures and by 
the Savior. Millions today would like 
to know, hear, and follow a prophet 
of God, and to know that there are 
twelve living, ordained apostles of the 
Lord on this earth. 

May we do the will of the Lord and 
his prophets, under their inspiration 
and revelation, I pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. 



1134 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Your Priesthood Responsibilities 

President Joseph Fielding Smith 
Of the First Presidency and President of the Council of the Twelve 



• This is a wonderful sight to me, as 
I look to the other end of this build- 
ing, and in the gallery, and back of 
me, and see all of you brethren who 
hold divine authority. I have thought 
that the best thing I could do would 
be to prepare something that had to do 
with this divine authority with which 
the Lord has blessed us, and with your 
help, for I need your faith, I want to 
read what I have written. 

Authority is an eternal principle 
operative throughout the universe. To 
the "utmost bounds" of space, all 
things are governed by law emanating 
from the Lord our God. On Kolob 
and other giant governing stars, and in 
the tiny electron, infinitely small and 
of which all things are composed, di- 
vine authority is manifest in the form 
of immutable law. All space is filled 
with matter, and that matter is con- 
trolled and directed by an all-wise and 
omniscient Creator. 

Priesthood is divine authority that 
is conferred upon men, that they may 
officiate in the ordinances of the gos- 
pel. In other words, priesthood is a 
part of God's own power that he be- 
stows upon his chosen servants, that 
they may act in his name in proclaim- 
ing the gospel and officiating in all 
the ordinances thereof. All such offi- 
cial acts performed by these duly au- 
thorized servants are recognized by the 
author of our salvation. 

Man cannot act legally in the name 
of the Lord unless he is vested with 
the priesthood, which is divine author- 
ity. No man has the power or the 
right to take this honor to himself. 
Unless he is called of God, as was 
Aaron, he has no authority to officiate 
in any of the ordinances of the gospel; 
should he do so, his act is not valid 
or recognized in the heavens. The 
Lord has said that his house is a house 
of order, and he has given the com- 
mandment that no man shall come 
unto the Father but by his divine 
law, which is established in the 
heavens. 

All men who assume authority but 
who have not been properly called 
will have to answer for their acts in 
the day of judgment. Nothing that 
they perform in the name of the Lord 
is valid, for it lacks the stamp of di- 



vine authority. To deceive and lead 
others to believe that unauthorized acts 
are valid when performed in the name 
of the Lord is a grievous sin in the 
sight of God. 

The question of priesthood, or divine 
authority, is a vital one, since it con- 
cerns the salvation of each of us. It 
is impossible for a man to enter the 
kingdom of God without complying 
with the laws of that kingdom. Only 
authorized officers may properly offi- 
ciate in rites and ceremonies of his 
kingdom. No man has the right to 
assume the authority and officiate 
without being ordained to the ministry. 
To do so is an unauthorized and illegal 
act. 

With regard to the holding of the 
priesthood in the preexistence, I will 




President Joseph Fielding Smith addresses Sat- 
urday evening priesthood session. 



say that there was an organization 
there just as well as an organization 
here, and men there held authority. 
Men chosen to positions of trust in the 
spirit world held the priesthood. 

Adam received the holy priesthood 
and was commanded by the Lord to 
teach his children the principles of the 
gospel. Moreover, Adam was bap- 
tized for the remission of his sins, 
for the same principles by which men 



are saved now were the principles by 
which men were saved in the begin- 
ning. In that day all those who 
repented and were baptized received 
the gifts of the Holy Ghost by the 
laying on of hands. Adam made all 
these things known to his sons and 
daughters. 

A false notion prevails today that 
men may assume the authority to speak 
and officiate in the name of the Lord 
Jesus Christ when they have not been 
divinely called. The commission given 
by our Lord to his disciples nearly 
two thousand years ago does not au- 
thorize any man today to officiate in 
the ordinances of the gospel or to preach 
and expound the scriptures by divine 
authority. The Bible does not and 
cannot give to any man this right to 
exercise the functions of the priest- 
hood. This can only come, as in 
days of old, by authority from the Son 
of God or his properly constituted 
representatives. There is a perfect 
order in the kingdom of God, and he 
recognizes the authority of his servants. 

It is our duty to save the world. 
That is our mission, insofar as they 
will listen unto us and receive our 
testimony. All those who reject the 
testimony of the elders of Israel will 
be held responsible and will have to 
give an accounting for their steward- 
ship, just as we will have to give an 
accounting of our stewardship as elders 
and teachers of the people. 

Never before in the history of the 
Church has the responsibility that 
has been given to the priesthood been 
more necessary of fulfillment than 
today. Never before have we been 
under greater obligation to serve the 
Lord, and keep his commandments, 
and magnify the callings that have 
been assigned to us. 

The world today is torn asunder. 
Evil is rampant upon the face of the 
earth. The members of the Church 
need to be humble and prayerful and 
diligent. We who have been called 
to these positions in the priesthood 
have the responsibility upon our 
shoulders to teach and direct the mem- 
bers of the Church in righteousness. 

If we do not serve the Lord with 
all our heart, might, mind, and 
strength, if we are not loyal to this 
calling that we have received, we are 
not going to be blameless when we 
stand before the judgment seat. It 
is a very serious thing to hold the 
priesthood. 

Brethren of the priesthood, these are 
your responsibilities. The Council of 
the Twelve did not place them upon 
you; the Presidency of the Church did 
not place them upon you. . It is true 
that they, or their representatives, 
called you and ordained you to the 
ministry, but the responsibility to per- 
form this labor came to you from the 
Son of God. You are his servants. 
You will be held accountable to him 



DECEMBER 1966 



1135 



for your stewardship, and unless you 
magnify your callings and prove your- 
selves worthy and faithful in all 
things, you will not stand blameless 
before him at the last day. 

May the Lord bless you good breth- 



ren, holders of the priesthood, and may 
you magnify your callings in the 
Church, and may the Lord bless you 
in all that you do is my humble 
prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



Keep Your Covenants 

President N. Eldon Tanner 
Of the First Presidency 



• I always feel most humble as I stand 
before a body of men who hold the 
priesthood. The priesthood of God is 
the power by which all things were 
done in the universe, but the priest- 
hood that you hold is the power of 
God delegated to you to act in his 
name in the office to which you have 
been called. 

Just think what that means, the 
authority that is given to us, for the 
Lord has said to his elders that they 
may baptize an individual, and he is 
baptized; he is as much baptized as if 
the President of the Church had bap- 
tized him, or any of the Twelve. And 
when he is confirmed, it is of the same 
effect as if the Lord himself had con- 
firmed him. And then when he is 
ordained a deacon, teacher, priest, 
elder, it is of the same effect. That 
authority is given to us, and with that 
authority goes a great responsibility. 

This evening I should like to ad- 
dress my remarks to the topic: the 
importance of keeping pledges. There 
are many kinds of pledges. Maybe 
some of you would think that the 
things I am listing here are not 
pledges. I say keeping an appointment 
is a pledge. You may not think it is 
very important, but keeping an ap- 
pointment is important, and that is a 
good place to start to learn to keep 
pledges. I should hate to miss my 
appointment when I leave this frail 
existence, and be found someplace for 
which I hope I am not preparing, just 
because I am late. 

To pay a bill or a note is a pledge 
that is very important; to keep one's 
word in anything one says or agrees 
to do is a pledge. When one joins the 
Church, he pledges certain things as 
he goes into the waters of baptism. 
When accepting the priesthood, we 
make a very definite covenant with 
the Lord. When partaking of the sac- 
rament, we renew our covenants. No- 
tice that I am using covenants, prom- 
ises, and pledges interchangeably. 

When partaking of the sacrament, 



we renew those covenants. When ac- 
cepting office in the Church, we agree 
to do certain things. We take upon 
ourselves certain covenants; we make 
certain pledges. You who have been 
to the temple know the covenants you 
make and the obligations you take 
upon yourselves. 

In home teaching, or any assign- 
ment that is given to us, if we accept 
that assignment, we certainly covenant 
with the Lord and the one who is 
giving the assignment that we will per- 
form that duty. 

Now some may emphasize one 
covenant or one requirement or one 
of the commandments; but we cove- 
nant to keep all the commandments 
when we join this Church, accept and 
are ordained to the priesthood. 

The Prophet spoke out clearly on 
Friday morning, telling us what our 
responsibilities are. He mentioned and 
spoke emphatically of liquor by the 
drink. A man said to me after that, 
"You know, there are people in our 
state who believe in following the 
Prophet in everything they think is 
right, but when it is something they 
think isn't right, and it doesn't appeal 
to them, then that's different." He 
said, "Then they become their own 
prophet. They decide what the Lord 
wants and what the Lord doesn't 
want." 

I thought how true, and how serious 
when we begin to choose which of the 
covenants, which of the command- 
ments we will keep and follow. When 
we decide that there are some of them 
that we will not keep or follow, we 
are taking the law of the Lord into 
our own hands and become our own 
prophets, and believe me, we will be 
led astray, because we are false proph- 
ets to ourselves when we do not 
follow the Prophet of God. No, we 
should never discriminate between 
these commandments, as to those we 
should and should not keep. 

A man said to me just a few days 
ago — and he is a member of the 



Church and thinks he is a pretty good 
member, and I am not questioning 
him on that — but he said, "You know, 
this Church requires too much of its 
people. There isn't another church in 
the world that requires or demands as 
much of its people as The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 
Mormon Church." 

I said, "Brother, the Church doesn't 
demand anything of you. It offers you 
great opportunities and many privileges 
that are not given to any individual 
any place in the world other than 
through the Church of Jesus Christ. 
And the priesthood offers opportuni- 
ties, privileges, and blessings that one 
can enjoy only as he accepts the rules 
and keeps the covenants upon which 
these privileges and blessings are 
predicated. You may choose what you 
wish to do in this Church, and you 
will be blessed accordingly. It is en- 
tirely up to you." But I added, "As 
far as I am concerned, brother, I would 
rather walk barefoot from here to the 
celestial kingdom and back into the 
presence of my Heavenly Father, if I 
can get there, than to let the things 
of this world keep me out." 

And I am serious about it. These 
privileges that are offered to us, hold- 
ers of the priesthood, just cannot be 
evaluated. If we keep these covenants, 
we are blessed. As we go to the tem- 
ple, we make those covenants that I 
mentioned before. And I would like 
to say to you men who hold the priest- 
hood, just remember three words: keep 
the covenants. Now, anybody who is 
listening tonight, anybody who holds 
the priesthood, surely can remember 
three words: keep the covenants. 

I should like to read a covenant 
that I have read before in priesthood 
meeting; to me it is most important, 
the covenant that we make when we 
accept the priesthood. I shall read 
from the 84th Section of the Doctrine 
and Covenants: 

"For whoso is faithful unto the 
obtaining these two priesthoods of 
which I have spoken, and the magni- 
fying their calling, are sanctified by 
the Spirit unto the renewing of their 
bodies. 

"They become the sons of Moses 
and of Aaron and the seed of Abra- 
ham, and the church and kingdom, 
and the elect of God. 

"And also all they who receive this 
priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; 

"For he that receiveth my servants 
receiveth me; 

"And he that receiveth me receiveth 
my Father; 

"And he that receiveth my Father 
receiveth my Father's kingdom; there- 
fore all that my Father hath shall be 
given unto him. 

"And this is according to the oath 
and covenant which belongeth to the 
priesthood. 



1 136 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



"Therefore, all those who receive 
the priesthood, receive this oath and 
covenant of my Father, which he can- 
not break, neither can it be moved. 

"But whoso breaketh this covenant 
after he hath received it, and alto- 
gether turneth therefrom, . . ." is left 
on his own. (D&C 84:33-41.) 

Note that the Lord says (and I am 
not quoting word for word) : "I can- 
not break this covenant, but if you 
break it there is no promise." Isn't it 
something to think about when the 
Lord says he cannot break a covenant 
that he makes with his people. That 
covenant stands as long as we will 
keep the covenant, but when we break 
the covenant, there is no covenant as 
far as the Lord is concerned. 

Referring to these covenants in the 
temple, I would like to say to you 
again, remember these three words: 
keep the covenants. And I think I am 
safe in saying to you that if you and 
your families will keep these covenants, 
you will be happy, you will be 
successful, you will be respected, you 
will have good families that you can 
take back into the presence of our 
Heavenly Father. All you will have 
to do is remember three words: keep 
the covenants, the obligations that you 
have taken upon yourselves, the 
pledges that you have made. Keep the 
covenants. 

Now among our fellowmen, neigh- 
bor to neighbor, it is important that 
we keep our covenants, our pledges, 
our agreements. A young man came 
to me not long ago and said, "I made 
an agreement with a man that requires 
me to make certain payments each 
year. I am in arrears, and I can't make 
those payments, for if I do, it is going 
to cause me to lose my home. What 
shall I do?" 

I looked at him and said, "Keep 
your agreement." 

"Even if it costs me my home?" 

I said, "I am not talking about your 
home. I am talking about your agree- 
ment; and I think your wife would 
rather have a husband who would 
keep his word, meet his obligations, 
keep his pledges or his covenants, and 
have to rent a home than to have a 
home with a husband who will not 
keep his covenants and his pledges." 

I don't know whether everyone here 
agrees with me or not; in fact, I am 
wondering. There are too many today, 
I feel, who are prepared to take the 
easy way out of paying their debts by 
not paying them and take whatever 
action is necessary to keep them free. 
It is important, brethren, that we keep 
our pledges and our covenants and 
keep our name good. A man's good 
name is worth more than any material 
thing he could have. 

And if it is important that we keep 
our covenants with our neighbor, with 
a man with whom we have made an 
agreement, how much more impor- 



tant it is that we keep the covenants 
that we make with our Heavenly 
Father when we hold the priesthood 
and accept office in this Church. 

Brethren, it is a pleasure to be with 
you, to join with you men of the 
priesthood; I feel most humble in your 
presence, and particularly do I feel 
humble when I realize that the body 
of the priesthood in the Church of 
Jesus Christ is the only body that holds 
the power of God to act in his name 
in the office to which they have been 
called. And think of the responsibility 
that has been placed upon us to take 
this message to the world. We have 
been told by these two speakers to- 
night, Brother [Bernard P.] Brockbank 
and Brother [Arch L.] Madsen, how 
we are striving to make it possible for 
everyone to hear the gospel. Our lives, 
brethren, will help to determine how 
they receive it. 



A man told me that he was just 
about ready to accept the gospel when 
he met a particular LDS family. Then 
he said, "If that's the way your people 
live, I don't want to have anything 
to do with it." 

I want to bear you my testimony 
that I know the gospel of Jesus Christ 
is here in our midst; it has been re- 
stored. The priesthood has been 
restored and it is most important that 
we honor that priesthood. We are 
guided by a prophet, who has been 
called and given the authority and 
responsibility of directing our work 
here. May we follow him and keep 
the commandments of the Lord. May 
we choose to keep all the command- 
ments, not those which we ourselves 
choose. May we accept the Prophet 
and not be our own false prophet, I 
pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



Sunday Morning Session, October 2, 1966 



We Believe in Being Honest 

Mark E. Petersen 

Of the Council of the Twelve 



• I earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit 
will assist me as I stand before you 
this morning. 

One of the Articles of Faith of The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints includes these words: "We be- 
lieve in being honest. . . ." (Article of 
Faith 13.) 

This is one of the most important 
tenets of our religion, and for many 
people it is one of the most difficult 
to live. Honesty is as basic to true 
Christianity as baptism or the resur- 
rection of the dead. It is the founda- 
tion of all character development. Just 
as no man can see the kingdom of 
heaven without baptism, as explained 
by the Savior, so it may be said with 
equal truth that no dishonest man, 
except he repents, can see the kingdom 
of heaven. 

Our Christian civilization is built 
upon integrity. Without it our way of 
life would collapse. If we allow dis- 
honesty to weave itself into the fabric 
of our lives, we invite moral suicide. 

Dishonesty in the world is appal- 
ling. The cost of major crime is shock- 
ing in the extreme, but petty crime 
involving far more people is becoming 
a national disgrace. It is almost in- 
credible that here in the United States, 
for example, shoplifting costs our 
stores nearly three billion dollars a 
year. Most shoplifters are women and 
children. 



Other types of petty crime cost 
American businessmen an additional 
billion dollars annually. 

One hotel in New York last year 
lost 18,000 towels, 355 silver coffee 
pots, 15,000 fingerbowls, and 100 
Bibles. 

Seventy-five percent of all insur- 
ance claims are estimated to be dis- 
honest, costing insurance companies 
350 million dollars a year in over- 
payments. Cheating in school is ad- 
mitted by hosts of our students. 

And yet, lest we think that dishon- 
esty is completely engulfing us, we 
should recall that department stores, 
for example, when reporting on their 
charge accounts, say that the rate of 
default is less than 2 percent. Last 
year fewer than 2,000 people out of 
102 million taxpayers were indicted 
for income tax fraud. It is estimated 
by revenue officials that 95 percent of 
all income is reported to the govern- 
ment. So said the September 9 issue 
of Time magazine. 

In a recent Look magazine survey 
of teen-agers, it was most heartening 
to note that these young people said 
they want to live honestly in what 
they call "this dishonest world." 

We claim to be a Christian people. 
But to what extent have true Chris- 
tian principles become a part of our 
lives? 

Are our daily habits indicative of a 



DECEMBER 1966 



1137 



genuine Christian conversion? 

Is our personal conduct a reflection 
of Christlike virtues? 

Can any professed Christian be a 
Christian indeed if he is not honest? 

What is the gospel for — merely to 
talk about? 

Or is it something to live, to incor- 
porate in our daily conduct? 

The Savior said it is to assist us to 
become perfect in all we do, as perfect 
as God. 

Then is there any place for deceit 
in a true Christian life? 

Is not dishonesty an apostasy from 
Christ to the extent of our misbe- 
havior? 

Can we have a living faith in Christ 
without doing his works? 

To profess belief in him and yet 
refuse to live his laws seems to be a 
dishonest act in itself. 

The Christian religion cannot be 
separated from the Christian life, and 
there can be no Christian life without 
honesty. 

When the Savior told us to love our 
neighbors as ourselves, he spoke of 
honesty. 

When he told us to do unto others 
as we would be done by, he again 
spoke of honesty. 

When he told us to go the extra 
mile, to give our cloak as well as our 
coat, if need be, and even to turn the 
other cheek, he again spoke of hon- 
esty. 

When he advised us to reconcile 
any differences we may have with 
others, he spoke of honesty. 

When he vigorously denounced the 
hypocrites, he defended the principle 
of honesty. 

When he described the Good 
Samaritan, he extolled not only an act 
of mercy, but a man who was being 
honest with himself in regard to his 
fellowman. 

When he taught us to love the Lord 
our God with all our hearts, he asked 
us to be honest both with God and 
ourselves. 

When he told us to avoid judging 
other people, he again spoke of hon- 
esty. 

When he blessed the pure in heart, 
the merciful, the meek, and those who 
hunger and thirst after righteousness, 
he glorified honesty. 

When he taught repentance as a 
principle of salvation, he commanded 
us to bring honesty into our lives. 

When he permitted us to seek re- 
mission of our sins through baptism, 
he expected us to do so honestly. 

When he taught the moral law, 
again he taught us to be honest with 
ourselves, with our fellowmen, and 
with God. 

When he said that we cannot serve 
both God and mammon, he spoke of 
this same principle of honest living. 

When he commanded us to become 
perfect even as our Father in heaven, 



he most certainly taught the strictest 
kind of honesty. 

When he said, "Except your righ- 
teousness shall exceed the righteousness 
of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in 
no case enter into the kingdom of 
heaven," he spoke of honesty and in- 
tegrity. (Matt. 5:20.) 

When he advised his listeners, "Lay 
not up for yourselves treasures upon 
earth, where moth and rust doth cor- 
rupt," again he spoke of honesty. 
(Matt. 6:19.) 

When he said, "If thine eye be evil, 
thy whole body shall be full of dark- 
ness," he spoke of dishonesty. (Matt. 
6:23.) 

When he taught us to seek first the 
kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
he referred to sincerity of purpose, 
which is honesty. 

He asked at one time: "Why be- 
holdest thou the mote that is in thy 
brother's eye, but considerest not the 
beam that is in thine own eye?" In 
doing so, he held up the principle of 
honesty. (Matt. 7:3.) 

When he counseled, "Enter ye in 
at the strait gate," he expected us to 
walk in straight paths, and to honestly 
and sincerely avoid crooked ways. 
(Matt. 7:13.) 

And when he said, "Every good tree 
bringeth forth good fruit; but a cor- 
rupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit," he 
referred to honesty and its ugly oppo- 
site. (Matt. 7:17.) 

He warned against devious ways by 
saying: ". . . fear not them which kill 
the body, but are not able to kill the 
soul: but rather, fear him which is able 
to destroy both soul and body in hell." 
(Matt. 10:28.) 

And yet, how gracious he was in his 
kindly invitation to help us to over- 
come our evil tendencies: "Come unto 
me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn 
of me; for I am meek and lowly in 
heart: and ye shall find rest to your 
souls." (Matt. 11:28-29.) 

But can rest come to the insincere? 
Can they have peace of mind? They 
can if they change their ways and 
repent, but not otherwise. 

Honesty is intimately and insepar- 
ably related to true charity. 

Charity is the perfect love of Christ. 
Can there be true charity, then, with- 
out honesty? Is there any charity in a 
dishonest act? 

"Though I speak with the tongues 
of men and of angels, and have not 
honesty, I am become as sounding 
brass, or a tinkling cymbal." (See 
1 Cor. .13:1.) 

How is a man profited if, by dis- 
honorable means, he shall gain the 
whole world but lose his own soul? 

What shall a man give in exchange 
for his soul? 

It is unthinkable that anyone would 
hide under a cloak of piety while de- 



ceiving his fellowmen, yet it is done. 

Paul once asked the Corinthians if 
Christ is divided. I now ask the same 
question. 

Paul referred to denominational 
schisms. I refer to conflicts in prin- 
ciple. 

Is Christ divided on any matter of 
principle? Does he deal in double 
standards? Does he countenance 
devious practices? Is there any duplic- 
ity in him? Then can duplicity exist 
in his followers? 

What does he mean when he says: 
"Thou shalt not lie," "Thou shalt not 
steal," "Thou shalt not covet," "Thou 
shalt not bear false witness"? 

Does he give us permission to tell 
little lies with the understanding that 
we will not tell big ones? 

Does he allow us to steal a little 
here and a little there, providing we 
do not commit grand larceny? 

The Book of Mormon speaks of the 
power of the devil in latter days and 
tells of his persuasive efforts to cheat 
and deceive human beings. 

The scripture says he will cause 
anger to rage in the hearts of some, 
but others "will he pacify, and lull 
them away into carnal security, [so] 
that they will say: All is well in Zion; 
yea, Zion prospereth, all is well — and 
thus the devil cheateth their souls, and 
leadeth them away carefully down to 
hell. 

"And behold, others he flattereth 
away, and telleth them there is no 
hell; and he saith unto them: I am 
no devil, for there is none — and thus 
he whispereth in their ears, until he 
grasps them with his awful chains 
from whence there is no deliverance." 
(2 Ne. 28:21-22.) 

Lucifer also urges us to "eat, drink, 
and be merry," saying, "it shall be 
well with us. 

". . . Eat, drink, and be merry; 
nevertheless, fear God — he will justify 
in committing a little sin; yea, lie a 
little, take the advantage of one be- 
cause of his words, dig a pit for thy 
neighbor; there is no harm in this; 
and do all these things, for tomorrow 
we die: and if it so be that we are 
guilty, God will beat us with a few 
stripes, and at last we shall be saved 
in the kingdom of God." (2 Ne. 28: 
7-8.) 

What a pity that so many people 
actually believe that devilish doctrine! 

With false teachings such as those, 
Lucifer induces many to cross the line 
into his realm, persuading them that 
they can, in fact, serve two opposing 
masters and get gain from both. 

But there is only one God and only 
one way to be saved in his presence. 
That is by avoiding all forms of hypoc- 
risy and by honestly and sincerely 
keeping his commandments. 

He is truly a God of charity and 
mercy, but he is also a God of law. 
He has said in clear and precise terms 



1 138 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



that no unclean thing can come into 
his presence. 

Dishonesty is uncleanness. It is a 
form of filth that must be shunned by 
every true follower of the Savior. 

There is no salvation without true 
charity, and true charity embraces the 
spirit of brotherly love to the point 
that it permits no injustice on the part 
of any one of us toward our fellowmen 
— no deceptions, no dishonesty, and no 
predatory designs. 

As the ancient prophet said, a man 
must "have charity; for if he have not 
charity he is nothing. . . ." 

Charity "rejoiceth not in iniquity 
but rejoiceth in the truth. . . ." (Moro. 
7:45-46.) 

Another Book of Mormon prophet 
said further: ". . . except ye have 
charity ye can in no wise be saved in 
the kingdom of God. . . ." (Moro. 



10:21.) 

Then who can be saved? 

"Who shall ascend into the hill of 
the Lord? or who shall stand in his 
holy place? 

"He that hath clean hands, and a 
pure heart; who hath not lifted up his 
soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceit- 
fully. 

"He shall receive the blessing from 
the Lord, and righteousness from the 
God of his salvation." (Ps. 24:3-5.) 

I earnestly and humbly pray, Lat- 
ter-day Saints, that we may be suffi- 
ciently true to the articles of our faith, 
that we may be sufficiently devoted to 
the Savior of the world that we will 
be willing to accept and live this very 
important article of our faith, "We 
believe in being honest," and for this 
I earnestly pray in the sacred name of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 



And I Saw Another Angel 

Bruce R. McConkie 

Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• I desire to speak as directed by and 
in fulfillment of a revelation given by 
the Lord to a modern prophet. 

This revelation came to Joseph Smith 
in the early days of this dispensation. 
It has since changed the lives of mil- 
lions of people and shall in due course 
affect the spiritual well-being and 
eternal salvation of all men among 
every nation and kindred and tongue 
and people. 

But first, may I invite your atten- 
tion to a revelation received by an 
ancient apostle, a revelation that he 
said would "come to pass" in a day 
subsequent to his, a day after New 
Testament times. 

This ancient apostle, the beloved 
disciple John, the one who with Peter 
and James had been favored so highly 
by Jesus, recorded his vision and reve- 
lation of the future in these words: 

"And I saw another angel fly in 
the midst of heaven, having the ever- 
lasting gospel to preach unto them 
that dwell on the earth, and to every 
nation, and kindred, and tongue and 
people, 

"Saying with a loud voice, Fear 
God, and give glory to him; for the 
hour of his judgment is come: and 
worship him that made heaven, and 
earth, and the sea, and the fountains 
of waters." (Rev. 14:6-7.) 

As is well known, The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints an- 



nounces to the world that God has 
spoken again in this day; that angels 
have again descended from the courts 
of glory to minister to men; that reve- 
lations, visions, and all of the gifts of 
the Spirit have again been poured out 
upon the Saints; that the church and 
kingdom of God has again been set 
up on earth with every priesthood, 
key, power, grace, and prerogative 
possessed in former dispensations; and 
that the everlasting gospel — the same 
power of God unto salvation had by 
the Saints of old — has been restored 
in all its glory, beauty, and perfection. 

In this connection we may well give 
careful consideration to the angelic 
visitation foreseen by John. What, 
then, is the meaning of the biblical 
account left us by the beloved disciple? 

John saw that angelic ministration 
would occur in a day subsequent to 
New Testament times; that God would 
again send heavenly messengers to 
man on earth, even as he had done 
to Saints and prophets of old. 

John's announcement was that reve- 
lation would commence anew, that 
the heavens — long sealed — would be 
opened, that the mind and will and 
voice of God would be heard again by 
mortal man. 

The ancient apostle foresaw that the 
everlasting gospel — God's plan of sal- 
vation for his earthly children — would 
be restored, so that Latter-day Saints 



could receive, possess, and inherit the 
same blessings poured out upon the 
Saints of former days. 

He beheld that the very gospel re- 
stored by angelic ministration would 
be preached to the whole earth, to 
all mankind, to every nation and 
kindred and tongue and people, thus 
signifying that no other people had 
the fullness of gospel truth and that 
all needed to come to a knowledge of 
revealed religion. 

John's message was that this restored 
gospel would invite men to worship 
the true and living God, to fear and 
glorify the Creator of all things, rather 
than to give allegiance to any false and 
untrue concept of deity. 

And finally, John specified that all 
this was to precede the glorious second 
coming of the Son of Man; it was to 
transpire in that day when the hour 
of his judgment was set, in the day 
just prior to his great millennial reign. 

Now we may well ask: Has the 
Lord's promise, given through the be- 
loved revelator, been fulfilled? Has 
the mighty restoration of latter days 
taken place? If not, when will it occur, 
and who will be the mortal recipients 
of the promised revelations and bless- 
ings from on high? And how can 
these glorious purposes of the Lord 
be fulfilled unless he calls prophets 
to receive the angelic visitations, to 
record the revelations, to preach the 
gospel among all people? 

We are bold to announce that the 
promised restoration has taken place. 
The promised angel has come. The 
promised latter-day work has begun. 

In the spring of 1820, the Lord made 
known the prophet whom he had 
chosen to usher in his great latter-day 
work. This prophet, Joseph Smith, 
records the opening of this gospel dis- 
pensation in these words: 

"Believing the word of God, I had 
confidence in the declaration of James 
— 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him 
ask of God, that giveth to all men 
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it 
shall be given him.' I retired to a secret 
place in a grove, and began to call 
upon the Lord; while fervently en- 
gaged in supplication, my mind was 
taken away from the objects with 
which I was surrounded, and I was 
enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and 
saw two glorious personages, who 
exactly resembled each other in fea- 
tures and likenesss, surrounded with a 
brilliant light which eclipsed the sun 
at noon day. They told me that all 
religious denominations were believing 
in incorrect doctrines, and that none 
of them was acknowledged of God as 
His Church and kingdom: and I was 
expressly commanded 'to go not after 
them,' at the same time receiving a 
promise that the fulness of the Gospel 
should at some future time be made 
known unto me. 

"On the evening of the 21st of Sep- 



DECEMBER 1966 



1139 



tember, A.D. 1823, while I was praying 
unto God, and endeavoring to exercise 
faith in the precious promises of scrip- 
ture, on a sudden a light like that of 
day, only of a far purer and more 
glorious appearance and brightness, 
burst into the room, indeed the first 
sight was as though the house was 
filled with consuming fire; the appear- 
ance produced a shock that affected 
the whole body; in a moment a per- 
sonage stood before me surrounded 
with a glory yet greater than that with 
which I was already surrounded. This 
messenger proclaimed himself to be 
an angel of God, sent to bring the joy- 
ful tidings that the covenant which 
God made with ancient Israel was at 
hand to be fulfilled, that the prepara- 
tory work for the second coming of 
the Messiah was speedily to commence; 
that the time was at hand for the 
Gospel in all its fulness to be preached 
in power, unto all nations that a peo- 
ple might be prepared for the Millen- 
nial reign. I was informed that I was 
chosen to be an instrument in the 
hands of God to bring about some of 
his purposes in this glorious dispensa- 
tion." (History of the Church, Vol. 4, 
pp. 536-7.) 

In due course, primarily through the 
instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph 
Smith, the glorious restoration prom- 
ised here took place, and God's true 
Church was once again established on 
earth. 

Now may I quote the revelation in 
conformity with which I speak at this 
time. On November 3, 1831, the Lord 
said to his latter-day Prophet: 

"... I have sent forth mine angel 
flying through the midst of heaven, 
having the everlasting gospel, who 
hath appeared unto some and hath 
committed it unto man, who shall 
appear unto many that dwell on the 
earth. 

"And this gospel shall be preached 
unto every nation, and kindred,, and 
tongue, and people. 

"And the servants of God shall go 
forth, saying with a loud voice: Fear 
God and give glory to him, for the 
hour of his judgment is come; 

"And worship him that made 
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and 
the fountains of waters." (D&C 
133:36-39.) 

And now may I say, as a servant of 
the Lord, by way of testimony, that all 
these glorious things are transpiring. 
The Lord has sent his angel, whose 
name was Moroni, which angel re- 
vealed to Joseph Smith the ancient 
record from which the Book of Mor- 
mon was translated. This volume of 
holy scripture is a record of God's 
dealings with the ancient inhabitants 
of America and contains the fullness 
of the everlasting gospel. 

This everlasting gospel — the same 
revealed laws and powers had by 
the ancient apostles — is now being 



preached in many of the nations of 
the earth and will be heralded in due 
course unto every nation and kindred 
and tongue and people, for God has 
so decreed. 

When we as the Lord's servants take 
this restored gospel to his other chil- 
dren, we invite them to come and 
worship him. 

Our message is one of a living God 
who speaks now, whose voice we have 
heard, whose countenance has shined 
upon us, and whose words we know 
and teach to others. 

We invite all men everywhere to 
come and see, to investigate the glad 
tidings of great joy which have been 
revealed in this day, and which shall 
go forth to all people, for "the voice 
of the Lord is unto all men, and there 
is none to escape; and there is no 
eye that shall not see, neither ear 
that shall not hear, neither heart that 
shall not be penetrated." (D&C 1:2.) 

This message of revelation and 
restoration embraces the most glorious 
hopes and promises known to man. It 



is the message of the ages, the ever- 
lasting gospel. Through it, men may 
find peace and joy in this life and 
eternal reward in the life to come. 

And God be thanked it is true — a 
message of salvation based on eternal 
truth. And truth will prevail. 

May I bear testimony of the final 
triumph of God's great latter-day 
kingdom by using these prophetic 
words of Joseph Smith, the mighty 
Prophet of the restoration: 

". . . the Standard of Truth has 
been erected; no unhallowed hand 
can stop the work from progressing; 
persecutions may rage, mobs may com- 
bine, armies may assemble, calumny 
may defame, but the truth of God will 
go forth boldly, nobly, and inde- 
pendent, till it has penetrated every 
continent, visited every clime, swept 
every country, and sounded in every 
ear, till the purposes of God shall be 
accomplished, and the Great Jehovah 
shall say the work is done." (History 
of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 540.) 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



The Holy Ghost 

Delbert L. Stapley 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• My brothers and sisters and friends: 
In the confusion of today's beliefs, 
philosophies, sophistries, changing 
standards of personal behavior, and 
the bold voice of unorthodox extrem- 
ists, man's need for spiritual guidance 
to choose the right and forsake the 
wrong is of paramount importance to 
his assurance of hope for peace and 
happiness. Without the light of the 
spirit, people see through a glass, 
darkly. (1 Cor. 13:12.) Their judg- 
ments and decisions are so often faulty. 
They bog down in confusion, frustra- 
tion, and utter bewilderment. 

The Apostle Paul's query is still 
meaningful. Said he: "For what man 
knoweth the things of a man, save the 
spirit of man which is in him? even 
so the things of God knoweth no man, 
but the Spirit of God. 

"But the natural man receiveth not 
the things of the Spirit of God: for 
they are foolishness unto him: neither 
can he know them, because they are 
spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:11, 

14.) 

This declaration should leave no 
doubt in one's mind that without the 
Spirit of God the things of God cannot 
be understood. However, man usually 
attempts to interpret all things ac- 



cording to his own learning and 
knowledge. We would do well to 
acknowledge that the Spirit of God 
should reflect itself in all our doings. 
Christianity has little value if men 
do not take it with them and use it 
honestly in all their activities in life. 
Oh, if man would only understand and 
willingly accept the source of his 
knowledge and the power and skill of 
his achievements. All intelligence in 
any form comes from God, who knows 
and comprehends all things. 

We marvel at the numerous and 
varied discoveries that are achieved in 
the laboratories of industry, in univer- 
sities of learning, and through private 
research. If man would concentrate 
the same degree of research in the 
laboratory of his soul, he would dis- 
cover life's purpose and God's way. to 
attain eternal life. This should be 
man's greatest and most important 
goal. 

Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, 
and the life:" and "without me ye 
can do nothing." (John 14:6, 15:5.) 

The Holy Ghost aids and guides the 
honest seeker after truth. How won- 
derful if all would be pricked in the 
heart as the apostles' listeners were on 
the day of Pentecost and would will- 



1140 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



ingly follow the admonition given by 
them on that occasion, to "repent, and 
be baptized every one of you in the 
name of Jesus Christ for the remission 
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of 
the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38.) 

These two steps open the door to 
understanding, peace, brotherhood, and 
happiness to all men. The baptism 
with the Holy Ghost by the laying on 
of hands obtains for the truly repentant 
companionship of this spiritual power 
with its gifts and blessings. John the 
Baptist, speaking of the Christ, testi- 
fied: ". . . he shall baptize you with 
the Holy Ghost, and with fire." 
(Matt. 3:11.) 

Man can only become spotless and 
sanctified by the reception of the Holy 
Ghost in his personal life. The 
Holy Ghost is a cleansing and purify- 
ing agent to all who receive it and are 
righteous. This means that sin and 
iniquity are spiritually burned out of 
the repentant person. He then receives 
a remission of sins, and his soul is 
sanctified and made clean for the 
Holy Ghost to abide in him. The 
cleansed person enjoys a newness of 
life and becomes a new creature in the 
spirit. The Lord has declared: 

"And this is my gospel — repentance 
and baptism by water, and then cometh 
the baptism of fire and the Holy 
Ghost, even the Comforter, which 
showeth all things, and teacheth the 
peaceable things of the kingdom." 
(D&C 39:6.) 

The Prophet Nephi gave this ad- 
monition to his people: 

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, 
I know that if ye shall follow the Son, 
with full purpose of heart, acting no 
hypocrisy and no deception before God, 
but with real intent, repenting of your 
sins, witnessing unto the Father that 
ye are willing to take upon you the 
name of Christ, by baptism — yea, by 
following your Lord and your Savior 
down into the water, according to his 
word, behold, then shall ye receive 
the Holy Ghost." (2 Ne. 31:13.) 

The Holy Ghost is a revel ator of 
truth and has the related power of 
discernment, which interprets the 
mind and motives of men; therefore, 
it has the function of preventing 
confusion and deception to the pos- 
sessor of this gift. (D&C 50:23-24.) 

The Holy Ghost is an actual, 
heavenly endowment from God in 
the life of an individual. It is a 
power he can feel. If faithful and 
obedient, one learns to be sensitive 
and responsive to its guidance and 
influence. This accords with the 
Lord's promise to the faithful to visit 
them with the manifestation of his 
Spirit. (D&C 5:16.) 

The Holy Ghost then becomes a 
needful adhesive attribute to one's 
personal spirit and is a determining 
character factor in one's life. It gives 
meaning and direction in both tempo- 



ral and spiritual matters. The Holy 
Ghost has many powers, gifts, and 
functions, but it will not abide in an 
unworthy, dishonest, or sinful person. 

Prior to Christ's death upon the 
cross, he cautioned his disciples to 
tarry in Jerusalem and not begin the 
ministry until they were endowed with 
power from on high. (Luke 24:49-51.) 

This promise was fulfilled to them 
in full measure on the day of Pente- 
cost. (Acts 2.) 

Later the Apostle Paul, writing to 
the Corinthians, declared: ". . . no 
man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but 
by the Holy Ghost." (1 Cor. 12:3.) 

When Jesus inquired of his disciples: 
"Whom do men say that I the Son of 
man am?" (Matt. 16:13), Peter an- 
swered and said: "Thou art the Christ, 
the Son of the living God." (Matt. 
16:16.) 

By the power of the Holy Ghost, 
the Father revealed this knowledge to 
Peter. This spiritual manifestation 
confirms the Apostle Paul's statement 
that no one can say that Jesus is the 
Lord but by the Holy Ghost. Paul 
added: "But the manifestation of the 
Spirit is given to every man to profit 
withal." (1 Cor. 12:7.) 

How can man profit by it if he 
hasn't received it? How can he re- 
ceive it unless he follows the gospel 
path as taught by the Christ and has 
the Holy Ghost conferred upon him by 
the laying on of hands by one author- 
ized to bestow it? The Apostle Peter 
declared: ". . . God anointed Jesus of 
Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and 
with power. . . ." (Acts 10:38.) 

Jesus, thus anointed, conferred the 
Holy Ghost and its powers upon his 
chosen apostles (John 20:22), setting 
the example and pattern for all men 
to receive this holy gift from God. 
Jesus also informed his disciples before 
departing from them: 

"But when the Comforter is come, 
whom I will send unto you from the 
Father, even the Spirit of truth, which 
proceedeth from the Father, he shall 
testify of me." (John 15:26.) 

Without this spiritual endowment, 
Christ's disciples could not become true 
witnesses to testify that Jesus was their 
Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and God. The 
need of this same blessing applies to 
each of us, or we will be without con- 
viction and faith of Christ's reality, 
earthly mission, death upon the cross, 
and resurrection to life eternal. Jesus 
also described other attributes of the 
Holy Ghost when he said: 

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of 
truth, is come, he will guide you into 
all truth: for he shall not speak of 
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, 
that shall he speak: and he will shew 
you things to come." (John 16:13.) 

The Holy Ghost, then, is the Spirit 
of truth; therefore, those who are 
worthy to possess it will be guided into 
all truth, which truth is the word of 



God. The Holy Ghost will not abide 
with the unrighteous, the insincere, 
or the wicked person. It is a gift from 
God, most valuable to those who enjoy 
its companionship and powers. Said 
Moroni, a Nephite prophet: "And by 
the power of the Holy Ghost ye may 
know the truth of all things." (Moro. 
10:5.) 

Without the Holy Ghost, one lives 
in spiritual darkness, blind to truth, 
unbelieving of heart, and apostate in 
feelings and teachings. 

The Holy Ghost is also a com- 
forter; it has the power to give peace 
to the soul of the righteous. 

The Holy Ghost is the spirit of 
prophecy. The Apostle Peter, speaking 
of the more sure word of prophecy, 
admonished all to take heed, "know- 
ing this first, that no prophecy of the 
scripture is of any private interpre- 
tation. 

"For the prophecy came not in old 
time by the will of man: but holy 
men of God spake as they were moved 
by the Holy Ghost." (2 Pet. 1:20-21.) 

If prophets speak by the power of 
the Holy Ghost, then the Holy Ghost 
is required to interpret correctly the 
teachings of holy men. Therefore, 
those who do not possess the Spirit 
of God cannot comprehend the things 
of God. 

The Holy Ghost is a revelator. Jesus, 
speaking of the Holy Ghost, promised 
his disciples: ". . . and he will shew 
you things to come." (John 16:13.) 

Revelation is God's plan of instruct- 
ing his people and guiding his work 
and kingdom upon earth. The Holy 
Ghost, as a personage of spirit, has 
the power and capacity of touching the 
spirit of man (spirit to spirit) and in- 
fluencing him for good and righteous- 
ness if he is tuned to its spiritual wave 
length. The Holy Ghost has the power 
to quicken one's mind and increase 
one's understanding and comprehen- 
sion of divine and temporal things. 
Without it there can be no faith, hope, 
nor personal assurance of eternal life. 

The Holy Ghost inspires, uplifts, and 
motivates a sincere person to love 
truth and pursue righteousness. This 
feeling and power does not come with- 
out effort. One must ask of God after 
study and meditation if a thing is 
right. If true, one's bosom shall burn 
within him; but if it is not right, an 
individual will have no such feelings, 
but a stupor of thought shall prevail 
his being. (D&C 9:7-9.) 

Like the parable of the talents, every 
child of God endowed with the Holy 
Ghost is blessed with one or more 
spiritual gifts that can be strengthened 
and added upon. The Holy Ghost is 
a personage of spirit; otherwise, it 
could not dwell in us. Too many are 
skeptical about the actuality of the 
Holy Ghost or lack faith in it and 
thus deny themselves of its powers and 
blessings. 



DECEMBER (966 



1141 



God is not a partial God but is the 
same yesterday, today, and forever to 
those who love and sincerely seek him. 
Possession of the gift of the Holy 
Ghost is important and needful to the 
servant, the wage earner, the business- 
man, the farmer, the professional man, 
the scientist, the politician, the teacher, 
whether engaged in secular or re- 
ligious teaching, and also to the rich 
and the poor alike. No one can afford 
to be without it nor devoid of its influ- 
ence and power. It is sweet to the 
taste and satisfying to the soul. 

The natural inclination of man is 
to rely solely upon himself and to 
ignore the purpose of his existence as 
well as his relationship to God, who is 
his spiritual father. If man will recog- 
nize his divine origin, he will then 
realize his Heavenly Father will not 
leave him alone to grope in darkness 
of mind and spirit, but will make 
available a power to influence him 
in right paths and into standards of 
good behavior. The Holy Ghost is 
that power. 



It is the Holy Ghost, or the Com- 
forter, that fills us with hope and per- 
fect love. (Moro. 8:26.) Men find 
peace, contentment, and comfort when 
by the Holy Ghost they gain a testi- 
mony of the Christ. Without this 
spirit, one cannot teach correct doc- 
trine. 

This Church is directed by the 
Holy Ghost. Without the influence 
and directing force of this third mem- 
ber of the godhead, this Church would 
be just another church. True religion, 
with its standards, principles, and 
ideals interpreted, guided, and influ- 
enced by the Holy Ghost, is the basis 
for solving all problems, whether per- 
sonal, national, or international. 

I humbly pray, my brothers and 
sisters, that the Holy Ghost will always 
be our constant guide and companion. 
that we will listen to its voice and 
follow its guidance, for it will take us 
back to the presence of God, our eternal 
Father, and his beloved Son, Jesus 
Christ, of whom I testify in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Communion with Deity 

Harold B. Lee 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• This morning I will take as a text 
for my few remarks the statement of 
a great missionary as recorded in sacred 
literature. This is an incident in west- 
ern hemisphere religious history in 
which a prophet-teacher named Am- 
nion exultantly praises God for his 
missionary successes. 

His brother Aaron chided him, say- 
ing: "Amnion, I fear that thy joy 
doth carry thee away unto boasting. 

"But Ammon said unto him, I do 
not boast in my own strength, nor in 
my own wisdom. . . . 

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as 
to my strength I am weak; therefore 
I will not boast of myself, but I will 
boast of my God, for in his strength 
I can do all things. . . ." (Al. 26: 
10-12.) 

Frequently the question is asked by 
those in and out of the Church: How 
do we develop the spiritual quality in 
our natures in order to serve our 
earthly missions more completely and 
thus become attuned with that infinite 
power of which the Prophet Ammon 
speaks? 

Ammon answered that question in 
part: "Yea, he that repenteth and exer- 
ciseth faith, and bringeth forth good 
works, and prayeth continually with- 



out ceasing — unto such it is given to 
know the mysteries of God. . . ." (Al. 
26:22.) 

For a few moments today, I would 
have you hear the testimonies as found 
in sacred scriptures of a few of the 
great leaders who learned how to tap 
the sources of divine power and be- 
came spiritual giants among the peo- 
ple of their day. 

David, the psalmist, learned even as 
a young man the source of spiritual 
power. The spirit whispered, "Be still, 
and know that I am God. . . . 

"... the God of Jacob is our refuge." 
(Ps. 46:10-11.) 

Prophets of old learned, as all must 
know, how to communicate with the 
Lord by prayer, to talk with and then 
receive answers in the Lord's own way. 
To know God and Jesus Christ whom 
he has sent (John 17:3), as the Mas- 
ter told his disciples, is to begin on 
the sure course that leads to eternal 
life in the presence of these glorified 
beings. 

The Lord told Elijah, the prophet: 
"Go forth, and stand upon the mount 
before the Lord. And, behold, the 
Lord passed by, and a great and strong 
wind rent the mountains, and brake 
in pieces the rocks before the Lord; 



but the Lord was not in the wind: 
and after the wind an earthquake; 
but the Lord was not in the earth- 
quake: 

"And after the earthquake a fire; 
but the Lord was not in the fire: and 
after the fire a still small voice. 

"And it was so, when Elijah heard 
it, that he wrapped his face in his 
mantle, and went out, and stood in 
the entering in of the cave. ..." (1 
Kings 19:11-13.) 

All too often when God speaks in 
this still, small voice, as he did to 
Elijah in the cave, it may not be 
audible to our physical hearing be- 
cause, like a faulty radio, we may be 
out of tune with the infinite. 

Nephi, of Book of Mormon history, 
speaks of this spiritual communication 
when he rebuked his brothers who had 
it in their hearts to destroy him: 

"Ye are swift to do iniquity but 
slow to remember the Lord your God. 
Ye have seen an angel, and he spake 
unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice 
from time to time; and he hath spoken 
unto you in a still small voice, but ye 
were past feeling, that ye could not 
feel his words; wherefore, he has spo- 
ken unto you like unto the voice of 
thunder, which did cause the earth to 
shake as if it were to divide asunder." 

In the Gospel of John is related a 
parallel experience in the Master's 
ministry showing how, out of a multi- 
tude, only a few — or none — may hear 
God when he speaks. 

As the Master entered Jerusalem on 
this occasion, the people gathered 
around and heard him pray: "... Fa- 
ther, save me from this hour: but for 
this cause came I unto this hour. 

"Father, glorify thy name. Then 
came there a voice from heaven, say- 
ing, I have both glorified it, and will 
glorify it again. 

"The people therefore, that stood by, 
and heard it, said that it thundered: 
others said, An angel spake to him. 

"Jesus answered and said, This voice 
came not because of me, but for your 
sakes." (John 12:27-30.) 

Only the Master, apparently, knew 
that God had spoken. So often today, 
men and women are living so far apart 
from things spiritual that when the 
Lord is speaking to their physical 
hearing, to their minds with no audible 
sound, or to them through his author- 
ized servants who, when directed by 
the Spirit, are as his own voice, they 
hear only a noise as did they at Jeru- 
salem. Likewise, they receive no 
inspired wisdom, nor inward assur- 
ance, that the mind of the Lord has 
spoken through his prophet leaders. 

The great law-giver, Moses, has 
given us the key to the beginning of 
heavenly wisdom. After he had sought 
God on Mt Sinai, a soul-stirring vision 
was given him in which he was per- 
mitted to enter into the presence of 
the Lord. When the vision was ended 



1 142 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



and he was left unto himself, he made 
this profound statement: "Now, for 
this cause I know that man is nothing, 
which thing I had never supposed." 
(Moses 1:10.) 

That was the beginning of his wis- 
dom unto the obtaining of the spir- 
itual power necessary for him to 
perform his great mission. He had 
found himself by losing himself in the 
great work to which God had now 
called him. 

In one of the greatest religious 
motion pictures of our day, The Ten 
Commandments, we are given a dra- 
matic portrayal by the great actor, 
Charlton Heston, of the Moses before 
and after he had been commissioned 
of God for his great ministry to be- 
come the mouthpiece of the Lord to 
all Israel. 

Charlton Heston apparently studied 
and researched carefully in order to 
portray accurately the character of 
Moses. This actor has written of his 
spiritual experiences while filming this 
great epic drama: 

He first takes us to Mt. Sinai for the 
filming of that tremendous experience 
as Moses was shown climbing that 
sacred mountain to commune with 
God. 

Then, by contrast, this actor gives 
his impression of the Moses, now 
divinely commissioned, leading the 
children of Israel out of Egyptian 
bondage: 

"The last glimpse I had of Moses 
was at the edge of the desert not far 
from Cairo, where 7,000 Egyptians had 
assembled for the Exodus. 

"I was lost, now, not in space, but 
in centuries. Surely, on the morning 
of that long-ago Exodus, these were 
the same eyes that followed Moses. 
The same skinny animals, the ragged 
clothes, the stink of poverty. I squeezed 
through the farthest rim of the crowd 
and out into the desert. Lifeless and 
endless it stretched to the horizon, 
while behind me the voices faded and 
swelled. These people trusted Moses, 
they had followed where he led — and 
where had he led them? Into this un- 
speakable wilderness? 

"Of course Moses could not lead 
these thousands across the desert. He 
never would have tried. But God 
could do it. And Moses, this all-too- 
human man, this man, so much like 
the rest of us, had simply turned him- 
self into the instrument through which 
the strength of God moved. 

"With joy I cried out the words that 
Moses cried: 

'Bear us out of Egypt, O Lord, 
As the eagle bears its young upon 
its wings.' 

"Then I lifted Moses' staff and saw 
the multitude heave into a vast shud- 
der of motion and walk out from 
bondage." (Charlton Heston, "My 
Three Meetings with Moses.") 

Here again we have the testimony 



of Jacob, son of Lehi, the pioneer of 
the Nephite dispensation, explaining 
how one can come to know God and 
to learn of his mysteries and to attain 
a state in which one may act in very 
deed as an agent of the Almighty. 

"Wherefore, we search the prophets, 
and we have many revelations and the 
spirit of prophecy; and having all these 
witnesses we obtain a hope, and our 
faith becometh unshaken, insomuch 
that we truly can command in the 
name of Jesus and the very trees obey 
us, or the mountains, or the waves of 
the sea." (Jac. 4:6.) 

It was so with another of the Ne- 
phite leaders. Enos, grandson of Lehi, 
gives us to understand why some can 
receive a knowledge of the things of 
God while others cannot. Enos re- 
counts his struggle to obtain a forgive- 
ness of his sins that he might be 
worthy of his high calling. 

He then concludes: "And while I 
was thus struggling in the spirit, be- 
hold, the voice of the Lord came into 
my mind again, saying: I will visit 
thy brethren according to their dili- 
gence in keeping my commandments 
. . . ." (Enos 10.) 

There you have, in simple language, 
a great principle: It isn't the Lord who 
withholds himself from us. It is we 
who withhold ourselves from him 
because of our failure to keep his com- 
mandments. 

This "spiritual fitness program" 
must begin in childhood and youth. 
You parents of children and impres- 
sionable youth, may you teach yours 
to keep the commandments, that they 
may not fail their destiny. 

Now, may I direct a few words 
especially to our younger people, to my 
grandchildren and yours: 

You, the youth of today, are living 
in the midst of turmoil. In this mili- 
taristic age, most of you able-bodied 
young men may, at one time or an- 
other, be required to engage in mili- 
tary service. Do you know that in your 
day, the voice of the Lord has spoken 
to you words of admonition, of bless- 
ings, and of promise, through your 
Church leaders, the living mouth- 
pieces of the living God today? Listen 
to this inspired utterance from the 
First Presidency of the Church, given 
to you who go into military service or 
elsewhere, for that matter: 

"To our young men who go into 
service, no matter whom they serve 
or where, we say live clean, keep the 
commandments of the Lord, pray to 
him constantly to preserve you in truth 
and righteousness, live as you pray, 
and then whatever betides you the 
Lord will be with you and nothing 
will happen to you that will not be 
to the honor and glory of God and to 
your salvation and exaltation. There 
will come into your hearts from the 
living of the pure life you pray for, a 
joy that will pass your powers of ex- 



pression or understanding. The Lord 
will be always near you; he will com- 
fort you; you will feel his presence in 
the hour of your greatest tribulation; 
he will guard and protect you to the 
full extent that accords with his all- 
wise purpose. . . . Your faith and testi- 
mony will be strong beyond breaking. 
You will be looked up to and revered 
as having passed through the fiery 
furnace of trial and temptation and 
come forth unharmed. Your brethren 
will look to you for counsel, support, 
and guidance. You will be the anchors 
to which thereafter the youth of Zion 
will moor their faith in man." (Mes- 
sage of the First Presidency [April 
1942 general conference], The Im- 
provement Era, May 1942, pp. 349- 
350.) 

And to you young girls, will you 
hear the voice of the Lord to you today 
from this same source, as a Prophet 
dedicated a beautiful new temple: 

"We pray for the daughters of Zion. 
May they be preserved in virtue, chas- 
tity, and purity of life, be blessed with 
vigorous bodies and minds, and with 
great faith. May they develop into true 
womanhood and receive choice com- 
panions under the new and everlasting 
covenant for time and for all eternity 
in thy temples provided for this price- 
less privilege and purpose. May they 
too be privileged to enjoy as the fruits 
of their union a noble posterity which, 
we pray thee, may be taught at their 
mother's knee to believe in thee and 
in the divine mission of thy Beloved 
Son." (President George Albert Smith, 
dedicatory prayer at the Idaho Falls 
Temple; The Improvement Era, Octo- 
ber 1945, p. 563.) 

May youth of today never forget 
what our inspired leaders have coun- 
seled. 

Even in times of great danger, moral 
or physical, when, like the Apostle 
Paul, you may be in danger of "ship- 
wreck" either to your body or your 
soul, there can be standing by you, as 
there was by him, after fasting and 
prayer, an angel of God who whispered 
peace to his soul. 

How is it done, you ask? The Lord 
answers: 

"And if ye are purified and cleansed 
from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever 
you will in the name of Jesus and it 
shall be done." 

"Wherefore, I am in your midst, 
and I am the good shepherd, and the 
stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon 
this rock shall never fall. 

"And the day cometh that you shall 
hear my voice and see me, and know 
that I am." (D&C 50:29, 44-45.) 

How can you recognize the spirit of 
revelation when it comes? The Proph- 
et Joseph Smith tells us: 

"A person may profit by noticing the 
first intimation of the spirit of revela- 
tion; for instance, when you feel pure 
intelligence flowing into you, it may 



DECEMBER 1966 



1143 



give you sudden strokes of ideas, so 
that by noticing it, you may find it 
fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) 
those things that were presented unto 
your minds by the Spirit of God, will 
come to pass; and thus by learning 
the Spirit of God and understanding 
it, you may grow into the principle of 
revelation, until you become perfect 
in Christ Jesus." (Documentary His- 
tory of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 381.) 

Mother's intuition, with which 
most of you are familiar, is a form of 
divine guidance in its purest and 
simplest form. Can you now under- 
stand why we counsel you to heed 
the admonitions of your parents dur- 
ing your growing-up years? 

In one of the Master's parables, he 
tells of the foolish rich man who laid 
up treasure for himself but was "not 
rich toward God." (Luke 12:21.) 

In King Solomon's "personal diary,"' 
as someone has called the Book of 
Ecclesiastes, this wise king gives us an 
enumeration of the things he had ac- 
quired, but which did not make him 
rich toward God. All of such, he con- 
cluded, "was vanity . . . and there was 
no profit under the sun." (Ecc. 2:11.) 

I heard an impressive testimony of 
a college student in a sacrament meet- 
ing in my ward. He had been warned 
not to take a certain course at the 
university because it had threatened 
to destroy the faith of previous stu- 
dents who had taken this course. He 
determined to take the course, and he 
determined also that he would not lose 
his faith. This was his testimony as to 
how he sidestepped this hazard: He 
kept active in the Church. He con- 
tinued to pray. He kept himself clean. 
In a word, he kept himself rich toward 
God. 

Then he bore testimony that these 
university courses did cause one to 
doubt; and if these doubts were aggra- 
vated by inactivity, the result could 
mean the loss of faith and possibly 
his standing in the Church. 

Will you remember the great ex- 
perience of Peter, the ranking member 
of the Twelve, whose loyalty to the 
Master seemed to have exceeded his 
courage when, in the face of physical 
hazard, he denied the Master thrice on 
the night of the betrayal? Compare 
this fear-torn Peter with the boldness 
he manifested shortly thereafter, be- 
fore those same religious bigots who 
had so recently demanded the death 
of Jesus. He denounced them as mur- 
derers and called them to repentance, 
suffered imprisonment, and later went 
fearlessly to his own martyrdom. 

What was it that had changed him? 
He had been a personal witness to the 
change that came to the broken, pain- 
racked body taken from the cross, unto 
a glorified, resurrected body that could 
pass thereafter unhindered through 
walls of mortar and stone, that could 
eat broiled fish and honeycomb, that 



could appear and disappear suddenly 
from the sight of mortals. The plain 
and simple answer is that Peter was a 
changed man because he now knew 
the power of the risen Lord. No more 
would he be alone on the shores of 
Galilee, or in prison, or in death. His 
Lord would be near him. 

There is the Lord's promise if we 
live worthily before him: ". . . let 
virtue garnish thy thoughts un- 
ceasingly; then shall thy confidence 
wax strong in the presence . of God; 
and the doctrine of the priesthood 
shall distil upon thy soul as the dews 
from heaven. 



"The Holy Ghost shall be thy con- 
stant companion, and thy scepter an 
unchanging scepter of righteousness 
and truth; and thy dominion shall 
be an everlasting dominion, and with- 
out compulsory means it shall flow 
unto thee forever and ever." (D&C 
121:45-46.) 

God grant that each of us may so 
live that we may enjoy that com- 
munion with Deity through the Holy 
Ghost, and know without doubt that 
he does live, and be prepared one day 
to enter into his presence, I humbly 
pray in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Sunday Afternoon Session, October 2, 1966 



Protecting Freedom - 
An Immediate Responsibility 

Ezra Taft Benson 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• Humbly and gratefully I take as my 
theme for these brief remarks the fol- 
lowing words from the inspiring 
opening address by President David O. 
McKay at the Friday morning session 
of this great conference. 

"Efforts are being made to deprive 
man of his free agency, to steal from 
the individual his liberty. . . . There 
has been an alarming increase in the 
abandoning of the ideals that consti- 
tute the foundation of the Constitution 
of the United States. . . ." 

I therefore speak on the subject: 
"Protecting Freedom — An Immediate 
Responsibility." 

The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints proclaims that life is 
eternal, that it has purpose. We be- 
lieve we lived as intelligent beings in 
a world of progress before this mortal 
life. Our life on this earth is a proba- 
tion, a testing period, an opportunity 
for growth and experience in a physi- 
cal world. It is all part of the plan 
of our Heavenly Father for the bene- 
fit and blessing of us, his children. 

This is to be done through a great 
and all-wise plan — the gospel of Jesus 
Christ. This master plan, if lived, 
will build men of character, men of 
strength, men of deep spirituality, 
Godlike men. 

Basic to this all-important plan is 
our free agency, the right of choice. 
Free agency is an eternal principle. 
We enjoyed freedom of choice in the 
spirit world as spirit children. In fact, 
a counterplan to the gospel of our 
Lord was presented by Lucifer, a plan 



of force that would have robbed man 
of his freedom of choice. Lucifer's 
plan was rejected, and the scriptures 
tell us that he, with one-third of the 
hosts of heaven, was cast out; and they 
continue their opposition to God's 
plan, which is based on the freedom 
of the individual. 

The scriptures make clear that 
there was a great war in heaven, a 
struggle over the principle of freedom, 
the right of choice. (See Moses 4:1-4; 
D&C 29:36-38; 76:25-27; Rev. 12:7-9.) 

History, both sacred and secular, 
clearly records that the struggle to 
preserve and safeguard freedom has 
been a continuous one. Prophets of 
God, as watchmen on the towers, have 
proclaimed liberty. Holy men of God 
have led the fight against anarchy and 
tyranny. Moses was commanded to 
"proclaim liberty throughout all the 
land unto all the inhabitants there- 
of." (Lev. 25:10.) 

Why have prophets of God been 
commanded to proclaim liberty and 
lead the battle to preserve freedom? 
Because freedom is basic to the great 
plan of the Lord. The gospel can 
prosper only in an atmosphere of free- 
dom. This fact is confirmed by his- 
tory, as well as by sacred scriptures. 
The right of choice — free agency — runs 
like a golden thread throughout the 
gospel plan of the Lord for the bless- 
ing of his children. 

To a modern-day prophet the Lord 
declared that "it is not right that any 
man should be in bondage one to an- 
other." In a revelation to the restored 



1144 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Church in 1833 the Lord declared: 

". . . that law of the land which is 
constitutional, supporting that princi- 
ple of freedom in maintaining rights 
and privileges, belongs to all mankind, 
and is justifiable before me. 

"I, the Lord God, make you free, 
therefore ye are free indeed; and the 
law also maketh you free. 

"Nevertheless, when the wicked rule 
the people mourn. 

"Wherefore, honest men and wise 
men should be sought for diligently, 
and good men and wise men ye should 
observe to uphold; otherwise whatso- 
ever is less than these cometh of evil." 
(D&C 98:5, 8-10.) 

A year ago in a great general con- 
ference address on freedom and how 
it is threatened today, our beloved 
President warned us, saying, "I do 
not know that there was ever a time 
in the history of mankind when the 
Evil One seemed so determined to take 
from man his freedom." He went on 
to explain that "pernicious efforts and 
sinister schemes are cunningly and 
stealthily being fostered to deprive 
man of his individual freedom and 
have him revert to the life of the 
jungle." ("Man's Free Agency," The 
Improvement Era, Dec. 1965, pp. 1073, 
1099.) 

Still earlier the First Presidency 
warned the Saints that "Satan is mak- 
ing war against all the wisdom that 
has come to men through their ages 
of experience. He is seeking to over- 
turn and destroy the very foundations 
upon which society, government, and 
religion rest. He aims to have men 
adopt theories and practices which he 
induced their forefathers, over the 
ages, to adopt and try, only to be 
discarded by them when found un- 
sound, impractical, and ruinous. He 
plans to destroy liberty and freedom — 
economic, political, and religious, and 
to set up in place thereof the greatest, 
most widespread, and most complete 
tyranny that has ever oppressed man. 
He is working under such perfect dis- 
guise that many do not recognize 
either him or his methods. . . . Without 
their knowing it, the people are being 
urged down paths that lead only to 
destruction. Satan never before had 
so firm a grip on this generation as he 
has now." ("Message of the First Presi- 
dency," The Improvement Era, Nov. 
1942, p. 761.) 

In spite of the scriptural evidence 
and the counsel of modern-day 
prophets during the past more than 
100 years, there are still some who 
seem to feel we have no responsibility 
to safeguard and strengthen our 
precious God-given freedom. There 
are some who apparently feel that the 
fight for freedom is separate from the 
gospel. They express it in several ways, 
but it generally boils down to this: 
Just live the gospel; there's -no need 



to get involved in trying to save free- 
dom and the Constitution or to stop 
Communism. 

Of course, this is dangerous reason- 
ing, because in reality you cannot fully 
live the gospel without working to 
save freedom and the Constitution, and 
to stop Communism. 

In the war in heaven, what would 
have been your reaction if someone 
had told you just to do what is right — 
there's no need to get involved in the 
fight for freedom? 

Of course, the war in heaven over 
free agency is now being waged here 
on earth, and there are those today 
who are saying, "Look, don't get in- 
volved in the fight for freedom. Just 
live the gospel." That counsel is dan- 
gerous, self-contradictory, unsound. 

The Book of Mormon pays tribute to 
General Moroni in these words: "And 
Moroni was a strong and a mighty 
man; he was a man of perfect under- 
standing; yea, a man that did not 
delight in bloodshed; a man whose 
soul did joy in the liberty and the 
freedom of his country, and his breth- 
ren from bondage and slavery; . . . 

"Yea, and he was a man who was 
firm in the faith of Christ, and he 
had sworn with an oath to defend his 
people, his rights, and his country, and 
his religion, even to the loss of his 
blood." (Al. 48:11, 13.) 

And then Moroni is paid this high 
tribute: "Yea, verily, verily I say unto 
you, if all men had been, and were, 
and ever would be, like unto Moroni, 
behold, the very powers of hell would 
have been shaken forever; yea, the devil 
would never have power over the 
hearts of the children of men." (Al. 
48:17.) 

Now, part of the reason we may not 
have sufficient priesthood bearers to 
save the Constitution, let alone to 
shake the powers of hell, is because un- 
like Moroni, I fear, our souls do not 
joy in keeping our country free, and 
we are not firm in the faith of Christ, 
nor have we sworn with an oath to 
defend our rights and the liberty of 
our country. 

Moroni raised a title of liberty and 
wrote upon it these words: "In memory 
of our God, our religion, and freedom, 
and our peace, our wives, and our 
children." Why didn't he write upon 
it: "Just live your religion; there's no 
need to concern yourselves about your 
freedom, your peace, your wives, or 
your children"? The reason he didn't 
do this was because all these things 
were a part of his religion, as they are 
of our religion today. 

Should we counsel people, "Just live 
your religion. There's no need to get 
involved in the fight for freedom"? 
No, we should not, because our stand 
for freedom is a most basic part of our 
religion; this stand helped get us to 
this earth, and our reaction to freedom 
in this life will have eternal conse- 



quences. Man has many duties, but 
he has no excuse that can compensate 
for his loss of liberty. 

As members of the Church we have 
some close quarters to pass through 
if we are going to get home safely. We 
will be given a chance to choose be- 
tween conflicting counsel given by 
some. That's why we must learn — 
and the sooner we learn, the better — 
to keep our eye on the Prophet, the 
President of the Church. And that 
Prophet today is President David O. 
McKay. 

On the day the Church was orga- 
nized, the Lord gave a revelation, too 
often overlooked, that he expects 
members of the Church to "give heed 
unto all his words and commandments 
which" the Prophet and President 
"shall give unto you as he receiveth 
them, walking in all holiness before 
me; 

"For his word ye shall receive, as 
if from mine own mouth, in all pa- 
tience and faith." (D&C 21:4-5.) 

All men are entitled to inspiration, 
especially men who bear the priest- 
hood, but only one man is the Lord's 
mouthpiece. Some lesser men have 
used in the past, and will use in the 
future, their offices unrighteously. 
Some will, ignorantly or otherwise, 
use their office to promote false coun- 
sel; some will use it to lead the 
unwary astray; some will use it to 
persuade us that all is well in Zion; 
some will use it to cover and excuse 
their ignorance. Keep your eye on the 
Prophet, for the Lord will never per- 
mit his Prophet to lead this Church 
astray. Let us live close to the Spirit, 
so we can test all counsel. 

Now, after all the counsel that has 
been given, what did President McKay 
have to say to the priesthood at our 
last annual world conference in April? 
Fortunately, his inspired words were 
printed on the editorial page of the 
June Improvement Era and have been 
reprinted in folder form by the Deseret 
Book Company as "the position of the 
Church." It would be well if every 
family in America could have a copy. 
You who have felt that you can 
righteously avoid standing up for 
freedom, heed these words: 

"In order that there may be no mis- 
understanding by bishops, stake presi- 
dents, and others regarding members 
of the Church participating in non- 
church meetings to study and become 
informed on the Constitution of the 
United States, Communism, etc., I 
wish," said President McKay, "to make 
the following statements that I have 
been sending out from my office for 
some time and that have come under 
question by some stake authorities, 
bishoprics, and others. 

"Church members are at perfect 
liberty to act according to their own 
consciences in the matter of safe- 
guarding our way of life. They are, 



DECEMBER 1966 



1145 



of course, encouraged to honor the 
highest standards of the gospel and 
to work to preserve their own free- 
doms. They are free to participate in 
nonchurch meetings that are held to 
warn people of the threat of Com- 
munism or any other theory or prin- 
ciple that will deprive us of our free 
agency or individual liberties vouch- 
safed by the Constitution of the 
United States. . . . 

"The position of this Church on the 
subject of Communism has never 
changed. We consider it the greatest 
satanical threat to peace, prosperity, 
and the spread of God's work among 
men that exists on the face of the 
earth. 

"In this connection," President 
McKay continues, "we are continually 
being asked to give our opinion con- 
cerning various patriotic groups or 
individuals who are fighting Com- 
munism and speaking up for freedom. 
Our immediate concern, however, is 
not with parties, groups, or persons, 
but with principles. We therefore 
commend and encourage every person 
and every group who are sincerely seek- 
ing to study Constitutional principles 
and awaken a sleeping and apathetic 
people to the alarming conditions that 
are rapidly advancing about us. We 
wish all of our citizens throughout 
the land were participating in some 
type of organized self- education in 
order that they could better appreciate 
what is happening and know what 
they can do about it. 

"Supporting the FBI, the police, the 
congressional committees investigating 
Communism, and various organiza- 
tions that are attempting to awaken 
the people through educational means 
is a policy we warmly endorse for all 
our people." (The Improvement Era, 
June 1966, p. 477.) 

Everyone should study the complete 
statement. This statement is timely 
and clear. The need for such a 
Church position has never been 
greater. I realize that it is sometimes 
unpopular to speak the solemn warn- 
ing truth. As a people, we do not like 
to be disturbed from our comfortable 
complacency. But today we are face 
to face with an increasingly successful, 
ruthless conspiracy. Our remaining 
liberties are hanging in the balance. 

Hear President McKay's further 
counsel : 

"Next to being one in worshiping 
God, there is nothing in this world 
upon which this Church should be 
more united than in upholding and 
defending the Constitution of the 
United States." (The Instructor, Feb. 
1956, p. 34.) 

President }. Reuben Clark, Jr., 
emphasized this fact as he discussed 
the freedom-slavery issue, from which 
I quote: 

"Now, what has business and in- 
dustry done about all this revolution- 



ary activity? . . . Business and industry 
neither planned nor did anything 
effective. There was no concerted 
effort. . . . 

"A common cause with a united 
front would have worked salvation for 
us. But business officials were afraid 
of their stockholders and their outcry 
against loss of dividends; the lawyers 
were afraid of getting whipped in the 
courts, businessmen felt strong vigor- 
ous action might further disturb 
business; bankers (I am a bank direc- 
tor) shivered at their own shadows. 

"So one constitutional right after 
another yielded without any real con- 
test, our backs getting nearer to the 
wall with each retreat. It is now 
proposed we retreat still further. Is 
not this suicide? Is there anyone so 
naive as to think that things will 
right themselves without a fight? There 
has been no more fight in us than 
there is in a bunch of sheep, and we 
have been much like sheep. Freedom 
was never brought to a people on a 
silver platter, nor maintained with 
whisk brooms and lavender sprays. . . . 

"And do not think that all these 
usurpations, intimidations, and imposi- 
tions are being done to us through 
inadvertence or mistake. 

"The whole course is deliberately 
planned and carried out; its purpose 
is to destroy the Constitution and our 
constitutional government; then to 
bring chaos, out of which the new 
Statism, with its Slavery, is to arise, 
with a cruel, relentless, selfish, ambi- 
tious crew in the saddle, riding hard 
with whip and spur, a red-shrouded 
band of night riders for despotism. 

". . . if we do not vigorously fight 
for our liberties, we shall go clear 
through to the end of the road and 
become another Russia, or worse." 
(Church News, Sept. 25, 1949.) 

"A bunch of sheep." An old adage 
declares, "A society of sheep must in 
time beget a government of wolves." 

In a general conference, President 
Clark issued this sobering warning: 

"... I say unto you with all the 
soberness I can, that we stand in 
danger of losing our liberties, and that 
once lost, only blood will bring them 
back; and once lost, we of this church 
will, in order to keep the church going 
forward, have more sacrifices to make 
and more persecutions to endure than 
we have yet known, heavy as our sac- 
rifices and grievous as our persecutions 
of the past have been. 

"We face a war to the death, a 
gigantic worldwide struggle. We must 
face it, enter it, take part in it. In 
fact, we are all taking part in the 
struggle, whether we will or not. Upon 
its final issue, liberty lives or dies." 
(The Improvement Era, May 1944.) 

Yes, we all love the gospel — or 
should do. We should all strive to 
live according to its precepts. But the 
basic thread running through the 



gospel plan is the freedom, the right 
of choice, of the individual. The gos- 
pel can prosper only where there is 
freedom. 

I have personally witnessed the 
heart-rending results of the loss of 
freedom. I have been close to the 
godless evil of the socialist-communist 
conspiracy on both sides of the iron 
curtain, especially during my service 
as European Mission president at the 
close of the war and today, and also 
during eight years in the Cabinet. 

I stood in Czechoslovakia and wit- 
nessed the ebbing away of freedom, 
resulting in the total loss of liberty. I 
visited among the liberty-loving Polish 
people and talked with their leaders, 
as the insidious freedom-destroying 
philosophy moved in, imposing the 
chains of bondage on a Christian 
nation. 

In both of these freedom-loving na- 
tions were members of the Church, 
striving, as we are, to live the gospel. 
But it was not enough. It did not 
stop the Communists. Our members 
were few in number, and the danger 
to freedom seemed far away. One 
trembles at the thought of members 
of the Church today in the Communist 
slave labor camps. 

In fact, freedom-loving people have 
been brought under Communist bond- 
age at the average rate of 6,000 per 
hour, 144,000 per day, 52 million per 
year since the end of World War II. 

But here in America, the Lord's base 
of operations — so designated by the 
Lord himself, through his holy 
prophets — we of the priesthood, mem- 
bers of his restored Church, might well 
provide the balance of power to save 
our freedom. Indeed we might, if we 
go forward as General Moroni of old 
and raise the standard of liberty 
throughout the land. 

Today our Prophet and President 
has said: "No greater immediate re- 
sponsibility rests upon members of the 
Church, upon all citizens of this 
Republic and of neighboring Republics 
than to protect the freedom vouchsafed 
by the Constitution of the United 
States." Is this plain enough? In view 
of this solemn warning, how can any 
member of the Church fail to act to 
help save our freedom? We must not 
be lulled away into a false security. 

We have a Prophet today. What we 
need is a listening ear. Let us live 
the gospel in its fullness, and by so 
doing we will work unceasingly to 
preserve and strengthen our God-given 
freedom. 

I bear witness that David O. McKay 
is a Prophet of God — I know it as I 
know that I live — and that through 
him the Lord reveals his will for each 
of us, our families, and the kingdom 
of God on earth. God grant we may 
heed his inspired counsel, I humbly 
pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



1146 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Jesus Points the Way 

EIRay L. Christiansen 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My beloved brethren and sisters: I 
concur in what has been said just now 
by Elder Benson, and I would like to 
add one other essentiality to which we 
must adhere and which we must fol- 
low in our lives. That is, that Jesus 
pointed the way through our difficul- 
ties. 

During the time that Jesus was on 
earth, many people were curious to 
know whether or not he was the 
expected Messiah. These people were 
of two classes: those who hoped he 
was and those who feared he might be. 

Those who hoped he was and who 
sought to know of a certainty received 
positive answer in testimony through 
the Spirit and rejoiced because of it. 
It is possible that those who feared 
that he might be the Christ made no 
serious effort to find out, and because 
of this lack of effort, they received no 
spiritual witness. They doubted the 
many physical evidences before their 
eyes, even though such evidences ful- 
filled scriptural declarations to the 
letter. They seized upon isolated 
statements lifted out of context in an 
attempt to justify their doubtings. 

And it is the same today. There are 
those who have complete assurance of 
his divinity, and there are those who 
fear that he is divine. So, although 
nearly twenty centuries have rolled by 
and volumes have been written of 
him, yet these questions are still asked: 
"Is Jesus indeed the Redeemer of 
the world? And if he is, to what de- 
gree do his teachings apply to me and 
my generation?" 

If I should ask you what you think 
of the policies advocated by certain 
immediately have an opinion. At 
least, you could declare yourself as 
generally "for" or "against" the phil- 
osophy and actions of such men. It is 
desirable to possess informed opinions 
of world leaders. But it is necessary — 
indeed, imperative — that we have not 
only an opinion but a conviction as to 
the role and the doctrines of Jesus 
Christ. This is so because he taught 
that as the Son of God, he was sent to 
earth by his Father to perform a mis- 
sion so vital that world peace and in- 
dividual salvation can never be 
achieved except through him. 

Since Jesus declared that he is the 



Son of God and the Redeemer of man- 
kind, it would be foolish for anyone 
to ignore him, his declarations and 
doctrines. For each of us there is too 
much at stake to reject him and his 
gospel. But, unfortunately, many have 
rejected him without making an ade- 
quate test of his claims. Such a test 
is available; it can be made by any 
earnest, truth-seeking person. 

The key is given in the Gospel of 
John: 

"If any man will do his will, he 
shall know of the doctrine. . . ." (John 
7:17.) 

This flawless test is easily under- 
stood. But all too many people with 
a carpe diem philosophy, living only 
for today, are unwilling to make the 
test by doing his will. Thus, accord- 
ing to the Book of Mormon, the "devil 
cheateth their souls, and leadeth them 
carefully down to hell." (2 Ne. 28:21.) 

It was the same at the time of Christ. 
To lift the religious thinking of the 
people from their ritualistic practices 
of worship of that day, from the 
letter of the law to the spiritual con- 
cepts of worship that call for "a broken 
heart and a contrite spirit," was (to say 
the least) difficult. 

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., once 
said: 

"If you want to know how far he 
[Jesus] had to go [to lift them] from 
the laws which had been given to 
ancient Israel, read the Sermon on the 
Mount, read the sermon on the Plain, 
read the sermon at the second Pass- 
over, and see how he had to drive, and 
drive, and drive for the new law." 
(J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Behold the 
Lamb of God, p. 23.) 

But to all people, Jesus has pointed 
the way. As an example, he said to 
them of old (and it applies equally 
today) : 

"Ye have heard that it was said by 
them of old time, Thou shalt not com- 
mit adultery: 

"But I say unto you, That whoso- 
ever looketh on a woman to lust after 
her hath committed adultery with her 
already in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28.) 

That was the new law — a drastic 
step forward toward the Christ-like 
life. To the people it seemed revolu- 
tionary. 



Another notable incident is appli- 
cable to us: Before the time of Christ, 
it was almost inconceivable to think 
that God had any compassion for a 
sinner. The Pharisees criticized Jesus, 
saying: "This man receiveth sinners, 
and eateth with them." (Luke 15:2.) 

Obviously, they failed to distinguish 
between sin and sinner. They hated 
the sinner as much as they hated the 
sin! Jesus taught that the sinner was 
greater than all his sins. While he 
condemned sin, he had compassion 
for the sinner. 

They who brought to him the 
woman in adultery would have stoned 
her to death, but Jesus said to them: 

"He that is without sin among you, 
let him first cast a stone at her." 
(John 8:7.) 

In the day when the law demanded 
an eye for an eye and a tooth for 
a tooth, Jesus taught the doctrine that 
hate, retribution, and vengeance should 
be supplanted by goodwill and toler- 
ance and love. Said he: 

"Ye have heard that it hath been 
said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, 
and hate thine enemy. 

"But I say unto you, Love your 
enemies, bless them that curse you, 
do good to them that hate you, and 
pray for them which despitefully use 
you, and persecute you." (Matt. 5:43- 
44.) 

Of the countless thousands who since 
his time have heard his message and 
have accepted him, how many have 
really learned to love their enemies, 
or even to love their neighbors as 
themselves, and "bless them that curse 
you," and "do good to them which 
despitefully use you and persecute 
you"? 

President Clark felt it was necessary 
to remind us of this principle when, 
during the Second World War, he said, 

"This divine command of love gives 
the one and only remedy that will 
bring lasting peace out of this bloody 
tragedy that is now devastating the 
world. Hate is born of Satan. ... It 
strikes the friend of today and makes 
the enemy of tomorrow. . . ." (J. Reu- 
ben Clark, Jr., Behold the Lamb of 
God, p. 303.) ' 

My brothers and sisters, only the 
weak become hateful and angry and 
unforgiving. Those who maintain 
composure when despitefully used and 
persecuted show evidences of emo- 
tional maturity. There is a need for 
this in each of us. 

While many are striving valiantly 
to do the Lord's will, it is evident 
that many men and many nations are 
drifting away from him. In too many 
cases, leaders of nations have lost their 
bearings. Because of vain ambitions, 
pride, and self-sufficiency, their vision 
is blurred, and their wisdom is 
blunted. As a result, vague and un- 
tested theories are offered as cures 
for our social and economic ills. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1147 



Christ's remedy for such social 
evils as violence, class strife, and con- 
tention is to banish iniquity, revenge, 
selfishness, lawlessness, and corruption 
— in short, to do his will. 

"... for there is none other name 
under heaven given among men, 
whereby we must be saved." (Acts 
4:12.) 

And "saved" in this statement may 
be applied to social and national prob- 
lems as well as to our individual 
salvation. 

President David O. McKay, as the 
Prophet of God, has given warning by 
declaring: 

"If men ever reject the fact that 
Christ is our Lord and Savior; ... if 
the majority of nations fail to recognize 
him as the only 'name under heaven 
given among men, whereby we must 
be saved' (Acts 4:12); if doubting men 
reject the possibility of obtaining that 
spiritual assurance of Christ's divinity; 
... if the acts of men generally be in 
accordance with such rejection rather 
than in accordance with their accep- 
tance of him as the Divine One, then 
this world will continue to be torn by 
contention, made miserable by hideous 
warfare, and ignominiously wrecked 
on the shoals of materialism, selfish 



indulgence, and disbelief and hatred. 

"Without Jesus of Nazareth, the 
Crucified Christ, the Risen Lord, the 
traits of the jungle will hold the 
human family in bondage." (President 
David O. McKay, October 1965 gen- 
eral conference address, The Improve- 
ment Era, Dec. 1965, p. 1099.) 

My brothers and sisters, Jesus has 
shown us the way. His gospel is time- 
less. And through one of his prophets, 
he has made this promise to you and 



me: 



"... I would desire that ye should 
consider on the blessed and happy 
state of those that keep the command- 
ments of God. For behold, they are 
blessed in all things, both temporal 
and spiritual; and if they hold out 
faithful to the end they are received 
into heaven, that thereby they may 
dwell with God in a state of never- 
ending happiness. O remember, re- 
member that these things are true; for 
the Lord hath spoken it." (Mosiah 
2:41.) 

In his gospel revealed anew, Jesus 
has shown us the way! May we find 
the way and keep it I pray in the name 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Master. 
Amen. 



Forgiveness 

Bishop Robert L. Simpson 
Of the Presiding Bishopric 



• Biblical history tells us that no mor- 
tal man has ever been subjected to 
the humility, the pain, the suffering 
that were experienced by the Savior of 
the world during his final hours of 
mortality. 

Following a number of false charges, 
he was betrayed by one considered to 
be among his closest circle of friends. 
He was then subjected to a so-called 
trial, which produced a sentence that 
was dictated by political convenience 
and public sentiment rather than jus- 
tice. 

Then in rapid agonizing succession: 
there was the long struggle to Calvary 
as he bore the heavy cross; he was 
jeered at and spat upon by the multi- 
tude all along the way; there was the 
offering of vinegar, climaxed by the 
cruel spikes; and finally, there he 
hung, his body broken and bleeding, 
still taunted by his enemies; and it 
was in the midst of all this that Jesus 
plead perhaps quietly, with deep 
reverence, "Father, forgive them; for 



they know not what they do. ..." 
(Luke 23:34.) 

With this .plea of forgiveness in be- 
half of his oppressors, Jesus indeed 
practiced what he taught, for it was 
during his remarkable Sermon on the 
Mount that he said: "Love your ene- 
mies, bless them that curse you, do 
good to them that hate you, and pray 
for them which despitefully use you, 
and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44.) 

In contemplating the subject of for- 
giveness as a possible conference 
theme, it was most enlightening to 
observe the overwhelming importance 
of this oft-neglected principle as a 
necessary prerequisite to individual 
salvation and exaltation. 

First of all, it must be recognized 
that the great principle of repentance 
is largely dependent upon forgiveness. 
He who has transgressed and then de- 
cides to repent is expected to seek out 
those he has offended, to solicit their 
forgiveness. I know of one man who 
carried his grudge to the grave after 



40 long, bitter years of refusing to 
forgive. What a tragedy! His light was 
never able to shine forth as intended. 
As recorded in 1 John, "But he that 
hateth his brother is in darkness, and 
walketh in darkness, and knoweth not 
whither he goeth, because that dark- 
ness hath blinded his eyes." (1 John 
2:11.) Paul wrote to the Saints at 
Corinth about the importance of for- 
giving readily, "Lest Satan should get 
an advantage of us: for we are not 
ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. 2:11.) 

Only as we forgive do we earn the 
right to be forgiven. This is an eternal 
principle, so taught by the Savior when 
he said: "For if ye forgive men their 
trespasses, your heavenly Father will 
also forgive you." (Matt. 6:14.) 

Paul certainly understood this great 
truth, for he taught: "And be ye kind 
one to another, tenderhearted, forgiv- 
ing one another, even as God for 
Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Eph. 
4:32.) 

Not only need we forgive to be for- 
given, but we must also repent to earn 
this great blessing. A prophet of our 
day has recorded that the repentant 
"shall be forgiven, according to the 
covenants and commandments of the 
church." (D&C 68:24.) Then this 
sweet assurance followed: "... and I, 
the Lord, remember them no more." 
(D&C 58:42.) 

This, brothers and sisters, is the hope 
of mankind, to have our mistakes 
wiped clean. There is no other way; 
there are no shortcuts in the kingdom 
of God. We repent, we forgive, we 
progress, and may we remind ourselves 
once more, it all starts with our own 
willingness to forgive one another. 
Yes, after all is said and done, the 
Golden Rule still stands supreme, "Do 
unto others as you would have others 
do unto you." (See Matt. 7:12.) First 
forgive and then stand eligible in the 
sight of God to be forgiven. The sim- 
plicity of the process testifies of its 
divinity. 

Now, in case someone has forgotten 
the extent of our obligation in forgiv- 
ing that wayward neighbor, just re- 
member 70 times 7 is 490. But we 
will never make it to 490, because if 
we follow the Lord's formula with 
sincerity, something very special al- 
ways comes into our lives and into the 
lives of our neighbors long before we 
achieve 70 times 7. 

Another interesting observation is 
made by the Lord for the benefit of 
all who come close to him with their 
lips but whose hearts are far from him. 
Too frequently we come to worship 
and to leave our offerings without at- 
tempting to prepare our inner selves 
to the same degree of perfection that 
we achieve in our outward dress and 
grooming. 

It was Matthew who advised such 
folks to "leave there thy gift before 
the altar, and go thy way; first be 



1148 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



reconciled to thy brother, and then 
come and offer thy gift." (Matt. 5:24. 
Italics added.) So it appears that a 
generous offering of time, talent, or 
means to the building of the kingdom 
is not fully acceptable if we bear such 
gifts without first truly forgiving our 
offenders. In so doing, we guarantee 
forgiveness for our own weaknesses. 

Lillian Watson has recorded an 
interesting episode from the ministry 
of Phillips Brooks, a great American 
clergyman, as he addressed his afflu- 
ent, well-dressed congregation on a 
Sunday morning in Boston nearly 100 
years ago: 

"He looked into the faces of men 
and women he long had known, men 
and women who had come to him with 
their problems, who had asked for 
his help and guidance. How well he 
knew what seethed behind the pleas- 
ant, smiling masks of their Sunday- 
best respectability! How well he knew 
the petty spites that embittered their 
hearts, the animosities that set neigh- 
bor against neighbor, the silly quarrels 
that were kept alive, the jealousies and 
misunderstandings, the stubborn pride! 

"Today his message was for those 
bitter, unbending ones who refused to 
forgive and forget. He must make them 
realize that life is too short to nurse 
grievances, to harbor grudges and re- 
sentments. He would plead for toler- 
ance and understanding, for sympathy 
and kindness. He would plead for 
brotherly love. 

" 'Oh, my dear friends!' he said, 
. . . and it was as though he spoke 
to each separately and alone: 

" 'You who are letting miserable 
misunderstanding run on from year to 
year, meaning to clear them up some 
day; 

"'You who are keeping wretched 
quarrels alive because you cannot 
quite make up your mind that now 
is the day to sacrifice your pride; 

" 'You who are passing men sul- 
lenly upon the street, not speaking to 
them out of some silly spite, and yet 
knowing that it would fill you with 
shame and remorse if you heard that 
one of those men were dead tomorrow 
morning; 

" 'You who are . . . letting your 
friend's heart ache for a word of ap- 
preciation or sympathy, which you 
mean to give him someday; 

" 'If you only could know and see 
and feel, all of a sudden, that the time 
is short, how it would break the spell! 
How you would go instantly and do 
the thing which you might never have 
another chance to do.' 

"As the congregation poured out of 
the church that Sunday morning, 
people who hadn't spoken in years 
suddenly smiled and greeted each 
other . . . and discovered it was what 
they had been wanting to do all along. 
Neighbors who had disliked and 
avoided each other walked home to- 



gether . . . and were astonished to find 
how very much they enjoyed doing it. 
Many who had been grudging and 
unkind firmly resolved to be more 
generous in the future, more consider- 
ate of others . . . and all at once felt 
happier and more content, felt at peace 
with themselves and the world. 

" 'Forgive,' Phillips Brooks urged 
his congregation. 'Forget. Bear with 
the faults of others as you would have 
them bear with yours. Be patient and 
understanding. Life is too short to be 
vengeful or malicious. Life is too short 
to be petty or unkind. . . .'" 

So spoke Phillips Brooks one hun- 
dred years ago, that great humani- 
tarian who, incidentally, composed 
the words to that favorite Christmas 
hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem." 

We need not reach back one hun- 
dred years for an example of bitter 
hearts. Such feelings are common in 
these very last of latter days. Unwil- 
lingness to forgive on a person-to- 
person basis is indeed a major and 
chronic illness of today's world. 

"Love the Lord thy God!" This is 
the number one foundation of all 
Christianity, and the second is like 
unto it, "Love thy neighbour as thy- 
self." How can you love God and 
hate your neighbor? You cannot! So 
forgive right now, today. That is the 
beginning of love, for forgiveness is 
indeed the prime ingredient of love. 
It is the function of love. 

Not one of us is incapable of calling 
to mind, this very instant, a person 
who has offended in some way; and 
if my understanding of the scriptures 
is correct, we had better make it a 



matter of urgent business to forgive 
that person, whether he asks it or not. 
Woe unto that man who stands stub- 
bornly in the way of another's plea for 
repentance by failure to forgive, "for 
he that forgiveth not his brother his 
trespasses standeth condemned before 
the Lord; for there remaineth in him 
the greater sin. 

"I, the Lord, will forgive whom I 
will forgive, but of you it is required 
to forgive all men." (D&C 64:9-10.) 

Yes, forgiveness enlarges the soul, 
for "he that loveth his brother abideth 
in the light. ..." (1 John 2:10.) To 
abide in light is to abide in the path- 
way that leads to the very presence 
of our Heavenly Father. In forgiveness 
there is a divine satisfaction that is 
also sublime. The fruit is sweet, the 
way is easy, and the time is so short. 
Slow forgiveness is almost no forgive- 
ness. 

Yes, brothers and sisters, as long as 
man lives in his mortal state, we will 
be confronted with imperfection, with 
our main chore to overcome that im- 
perfection. As we forgive, we achieve 
the right to be forgiven. As we forgive, 
we increase our capacity for light and 
understanding. As we forgive, we live 
beyond the power of the adversary. As 
we forgive, our capacity for love ex- 
pands toward heaven. And as we 
forgive, we approach the ability to 
stand one day in the midst of oppres- 
sors who do their ugly deeds out of 
ignorance and misdirection with the 
capacity to say, "Father, forgive them; 
for they know not what they do." 
(Luke 23:34.) In the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



"Children Are an Heritage of the Lord" 

Boyd K. Packer 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My dear brethren and sisters: We 
are greatly pleased to be in the mission 
field. In trying to convey to you 
that feeling, the best I can do is to 
tell you that when it comes to mis- 
sionary work we feel just the way 
Elder LeGrand Richards sounds. We 
appreciate deeply the opportunity to 
serve in the New England Mission. 
We are amazed at the great power 
and strength of the missionaries. We 
stand in awe of the Latter-day Saint 
missionary. 

A few days ago the general authori- 
ties assembled in the upper room of 
the temple to prepare for general 
conference. 



President McKay admonished us to 
feel free, perfectly free, uninhibited. 
From this invitation I approach with 
reverence a subject I had theretofore 
not intended to pursue. 

Some years ago two of our little 
boys were wrestling on the rug before 
the fireplace. They had reached the 
pitch — you know the one — where 
laughter turns to tears and play be- 
comes a struggle. I worked a foot 
gently between them and lifted the 
older boy (then just four years of 
age) to a sitting position on the rug, 
saying, "Hey there, you monkey, you 
had better settle down." He folded his 
little arms and looked at me with 



DECEMBER 1966 



1149 



surprising seriousness. His little boy 
feelings had been hurt, and he pro- 
tested, "I not a monkey, Daddy — I a 
person." 

I thought how deeply I loved him, 
how much I wanted him to be "a 
person" — one of eternal worth. For 
"children are an heritage of the 
Lord. . . ." (Ps. 127:3.) 

That lesson has lingered with me. 
Among the many things we have 
learned from our children, this, per- 
haps, has been the most tempering. 

Much of what I know — of what it 
matters that one knows — I have 
learned from my children. 

Parenthood is the greatest of educa- 
tional experiences. Bishop Brown made 
reference to a lesson taught to his 12- 
year-old son. Were you conscious of 
the lesson learned by a much older 
Bishop Brown? 

Our children and the children and 
youth in the Church are great teachers. 
Let me relate two lessons. 

In the days of the pioneer settle- 
ments, it was not uncommon to have a 
ward marshal whose assignment it was, 
under the direction of the bishop, to 
maintain orderly conduct among the 
teen-agers. 

On a Sunday evening after sacra- 
ment meeting, the ward marshal at 
the little settlement of Corinne came 
upon a buggy with some teen-agers. 
Since it was his responsibility to check 
on the young people, he stealthily 
crept near the buggy to see just what 
was going on. He managed to reach 
a rather insufficient tree very close to 
the buggy just as the moon came out. 
He had to stand more or less at at- 
tention to keep from being seen, but 
he could easily hear all that was 
transpiring in the buggy. 

Later, in reporting it to the bishop, 
he told of what had gone on. There 
had been some jokes told, much laugh- 
ter, and the usual teen-age chatter. 
He said they sang several songs. The 
bishop interrupted his report with the 
question, "Well, was there anything 
out of order in that situation?" His 
answer, "Yes! me behind that blamed 
tree." 

Always our youth are teaching those 
of us who are older, and they teach 
serious, sacred lessons, too. 

President Joseph T. Bentley presided 
over the Mexican Mission. I recall 
hearing him tell an incident that hap- 
pened, I think, somewhere in Mexico. 
An 11 -year-old boy had been seriously 
injured in an automobile accident. By 
the time they got him to the doctor, 
he was dying from loss of blood. In 
looking for a donor for an emergency 
transfusion, the doctor decided on the 
boy's seven-year-old sister. He ex- 
plained to the little girl that her 
brother was dying and asked whether 
she would be willing to donate her 
blood in order to save his life. The 
little girl turned pale with fright, but 



in a moment she consented to do it. 

The transfusion was made, and the 
doctor came to the little girl. "The 
color is coming back into his face," 
he said. "It looks as though he is 
going to be all right." She was happy 
her brother would be all right, but 
said, "But doctor, when am I going 
to die?" She had thought all the 
time that she was not just giving her 
blood but literally her life to save 
an older brother. We learn great 
lessons from our youth. 

With parenthood such a glorious 
experience, how important it is that 
we have reverence for it. 

Frequently I receive letters and not 
infrequently young couples come, par- 
ticularly of college age, struggling to 
achieve advanced degrees, and they 
ask for counsel on the coming of chil 
dren in their lives. 




Never has a generation been so 
surrounded with those who speak ir- 
reverently of life. Never has there 
been such persuasion to avoid respon- 
sibilities of parenthood. Never has it 
been so convenient to block that frail 
footpath of life across which new 
spirits enter mortality. 

Several years ago, while representing 
the Church at the University of Mon- 
tana, I found myself on a panel with 
representatives from several churches. 
The moderator asked each of us to 
respond to the question, "Do you 
believe in planned parenthood?" My 
answer was a resounding "yes!" with 



this explanation: We plan to have 
families. 

Often when young couples come, 
they ask the specific question, "How 
many children should we plan to 
have?" This I cannot answer, for it 
is not within my province to know. 
With some persons there are no re- 
strictions of health, and perhaps a 
number of children will be born into 
the family. Some good parents who 
would have large families are blessed 
with but one or two children. And, 
occasionally, couples who make won- 
derful parents are not able to have 
natural offspring and enjoy the mar- 
velous experience of fostering children 
born to others. Planned parenthood 
involves a good deal more than just 
the begetting of children. Nothing in 
our lives deserves more planning than 
our responsibilities in parenthood. 

I am concerned because our young 
couples are often in a quandry, par- 
ticularly when the arbitrary limiting 
of families is represented as an act 
of social good. 

In this generation we find the in- 
discriminate marketing of products. 
Medical advancements with the poten- 
tial to sustain life and to extend it 
for the infirm are advertised — even 
among our unmarried youth — as agents 
to prevent life and to extinguish it. 

Young couples are continually told 
that parenthood means forfeiture of 
advanced degrees and limiting of occu- 
pational progress, a representation they 
will live to know is false. 

Whether you will be blessed with 
many children or but a few, or per- 
haps experience parenthood through 
the raising of little ones left home- 
less, is a matter that will be made 
known as your life unfolds. But I 
urge you, I warn you to approach 
parenthood with reverence. When you 
covenant in marriage and are free 
to act in the creation of life, when 
you stand at the threshold of parent- 
hood, know that you stand on holy 
ground. Recognize also that in those 
areas of greatest opportunity lie the 
snares of persistent temptation. 

We are grateful for our family, grate- 
ful for all of our children. We have 
learned so much from them, some of 
the things we weren't conscious that 
we wanted to know. Each of them is 
needed and wanted in our family; and 
I say again, much of what I know, of 
that which matters that one knows, I 
have learned from our children. 

Young couples, draw reverently close 
to your Father in heaven in these 
monumental decisions of life. Seek 
inspiration from the teachings of the 
gospel of Jesus Christ. Grow close to 
him. Perhaps you, as he, will come 
to "suffer the little children to come 
unto [you], and forbid them not: for 
of such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 
10:14.) In the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



1150 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Conference: Feast of the Saints 

Alvin R. Dyer 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• One of the great scriptural accounts 
in the Old Testament tells of the chil- 
dren of Israel gathering at the gateway 
into the promised land at Kadesh- 
Barnea, where the great Moses, their 
lawgiver, stood up before them. He 
was confronted not with the ones who 
had left Egypt, but with their sons and 
their daughters, for the ones who had 
left Egypt had been wasted in the 
wilderness. According to the biblical 
writings, this is what he said to those 
who now were about to enter the 
promised land: "There are eleven days' 
journey for Horeb, or Mt. Sinai, unto 
Kadesh-barnea by way of Mt. Seir." 
(See Deut. 1:2.) 

The camel trains of that time had 
no difficulty in traveling that distance 
in 1 1 days, and yet it had taken Israel 
40 years. I have often thought that in 
our own way of life, in our own 
problems, many times we take the long 
way, instead of the short way, in 
accordance with the laws and com- 
mandments of our Heavenly Father. 

In ancient biblical times, "the 
feast" was a time of gathering, a time 
of harvest, a time of rejoicing, and 
what is more particularly significant, 
"the feast" was designated by the Lord 
as a time of remembrance. These ob- 
servances were established among the 
people for various reasons. Three 
times, said the Lord, thou shalt keep 
a feast in the year: the feast of the 
harvest, the feast of the weeks, the 
feast of tabernacles, and there were 
others. (See Exod. 23:14, 16; 34:22; Lev. 
23:34; Deut. 16:10, 16.) But in all of 
these there seemed to be a central 
motive, a time of the renewal of spirit, 
of regeneration, that the people might 
continue with gratitude and sacrifice 
to fulfill the purposes of the Lord, 
which were intended for their good 
and blessing. 

There are "feasts" that we observe 
at which we also gather to rejoice and 
be renewed in spirit and in thought, 
and to which we too bring the harvest 
of our achievements to evaluate, and 
then, with renewed determination, go 
forward to do better. Here, as in all 
the "feasts" of ancient times, is to be 
found the need of the people them- 
selves, seeking the strength and the 
fortitude to push on. From such occa- 
sions will come this strength, if our 



hearts and minds can be brought in 
tune with the Spirit of God. 

Establishing the custom of "confer- 
ences" for his people in this day and 
age, the Lord said the following: "The 
. . . elders composing this church of 
Christ are to meet in conference once 
in three months, or from time to time 
as said conferences shall direct or ap- 
point." (D&C 20:61.) 

From experience in the Church we 
have learned that the expressed will 
of our Heavenly Father comes to his 
people at conference time. This great 
conference, now approaching its clos- 
ing moments, has truly been and will 
continue to the end to be a time of 
the renewal of the spirit. 

But now may I ask a question of 
you? What will the aftermath be? 
It will ever be a great privilege and 
blessing to receive the inspiration of 
the general conference sessions by per- 
sonally being present or indirectly by 
television or radio. But can it not be 
said that the real significance of this 
conference wil register in the weeks 
and months that are ahead? May we 
fuse inspirational experience with 
righteous and obedient action. As 
leaders may we evidence in the time 
ahead a true response to this confer- 
ence by seeking to excel in our re- 
sponsibilities; and this, as the Apostle 
Paul has said, "that righteousness may 
abound," that our lives will be such 
that we shall merit the spiritual guid- 
ance needed to fulfill our callings. 

May we as home teachers become 
more dedicated to our callings to 
"watch over" our families, rather than 
making just reporting visits. 

Let the stake missionaries become 
more aware of the power of the gospel 
in the lives of people, to go back again 
and again to the honest-of-heart and 
sincere in our midst, always keeping 
the goodwill of those who have not yet 
received the testimony of Jesus and 
the work of our Heavenly Father. 

Let our class teachers become better 
teachers, to teach more by the Spirit, 
to be more concerned about the indi- 
vidual lives of class members, both 
participating and non-participating. 

Let us all as members, through 
greater faith and devotion, live closer 
to the laws and ordinances of the 
gospel, be more concerned in seeking 



after our kindred dead, and thus do 
the will of our Heavenly Father and 
his Beloved Son. 

And so in the closing moments of 
this great conference, may these few 
particular scriptural revelations serve 
not to supplant in any way the great 
inspiration we have felt here during 
these past three days, but may they 
add a little, in the earnest hope that 
we may more closely adjust to the 
will of our Heavenly Father. 

". . . Jesus said unto them, Take 
heed and beware of the leaven of the 
Pharisees and of the Sadducees." 
(Matt. 16:6.) 

But his disciples thought he referred 
to bread. Then he declared unto them: 

"How is it that ye do not under- 
stand that I spake it not to you con- 
cerning bread, that ye should beware 
of the leaven of the Pharisees and of 
the Sadducees? 

"Then understood they how that he 
bade them not beware of leaven of 
bread, but of the doctrine of the Phari- 
sees and of the Sadducees." (Matt. 
16:11-12.) This is what we are con- 
fronted with in this day. 

Upon another occasion he declared: 
". . . Take heed, and beware of covet- 
ousness; for a man's life consisteth not 
in the abundance of the things which 
he possesseth." (Luke 12:15.) 

"And in nothing doth man offend 
God, or against none is his wrath 
kindled, save those who confess not 
his hand in all things, and obey not 
his commandments." (D&C 59:21.) 

Continuing in a revelation given to 
our great modern Prophet: 

"Verily I say, men should be 
anxiously engaged in a good cause, 
and do many things of their own free 
will, and bring to pass much righteous- 
ness; 

"For the power is in them, wherein 
they are agents unto themselves. And 
inasmuch as men do good they shall 
in nowise lose their reward. 

"But he that doeth not anything 
until he is commanded, and receiveth 
a commandment with doubtful heart, 
and keepeth it with slothfulness, the 
same is damned." (D&C 58:27-29.) 

To those of us who have leaned 
more to our own strength, or to car- 
nal-mindedness, let us seek for the 
Spirit, then live and teach by it as 
declared in the revelations from our 
Heavenly Father: 

"And the Spirit shall be given unto 
you by the prayer of faith; and if ye 
receive not the Spirit ye shall not 
teach." (D&C 42:14.) 

"For what man knoweth the things 
of a man, save the spirit of man 
which is in him? even so the things 
of God knoweth no man, but the 
Spirit of God. 

"But the natural man receiveth not 
the things of the Spirit of God: for 
they are foolishness unto him: neither 
can he know them, because they are 



DECEMBER 1966 



1151 



spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:11, 

14.) 

In the uniting and spiritually an- 
choring of the family, which is the 
broad and over-all intent of the gos- 
pel plan: 

(1) Let every father who has felt 
the spirit of this conference seek to 
become a better father, to magnify 
the priesthood in his own home, to 
place it in order, and, having done 
this, to labor that others will see the 
necessity of doing this in their own 
behalf. 

(2) Let every wife sustain her 
husband in the priesthood, that they 
as parents may fulfill the command- 
ments of the Lord regarding the 
family. 

(3) Let children obey their parents 
in the Lord, for this is right. In the 
words of Paul, "Wives, submit your- 
selves unto your husbands, . . . 

"For the husband is the head of 
the wife, even as Christ is the head 
of the church. . . ." (Eph. 5:22-23.) 

"Children, obey your parents in the 
Lord; for this is right. 

"Honour thy father and mother; 
(which is part of the first command- 
ment with promise;) 

"That it may be well with thee, 
and thou mayest live long on the 
earth. 

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your 
children to wrath: but bring them up 
in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord." (Eph. 6:1-4.) 

President McKay has often referred 
to the home as the center of civiliza- 
tion, and the responsibility of the 
home rests upon the parents of the 
home. As parents, in the aftermath 
of this great conference, let us put our 
homes in order, for it is in this, as 
declared by the Lord by revelation 
found in Section 93 of the Doctrine 
and Covenants, that will come the 
power to overcome evil. Let us not be 
deceived in the causes that bring 
spiritual decay and affliction upon the 
family. 

Here is the law: "For this shall be 
a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or 
in any o/ her stakes which are organ- 
ized. 

"And they shall also teach their 
children to pray, and to walk upright- 
ly before the Lord." (D&C 68:26, 28.) 

The father in magnifying the priest- 
hood in his own home will contribute 
to the saving of his wife and children 
by safeguarding their lives, and with 
the assistance and help of his wife 
and companion he will exercise the 
rights of fatherhood in accordance 
with the principles of righteous 
dominion. Thus, the father, holding 
the priesthood of God, will know: 

"No power or influence can or ought 
to be maintained by virtue of the 
priesthood, only by persuasion, by 
long-suffering, by gentleness and 
meekness, and by love unfeigned; 



"By kindness, and pure knowledge 
[revelation], which shall greatly en- 
large the soul without hypocrisy, and 
without guile — 

"Reproving betimes with sharpness, 
when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; 
and then showing forth afterwards an 
increase of love toward him whom 
thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee 
to be his enemy." (D&C 121:41-43.) 

Finally, in the words of our beloved 
President, which have been echoed 
from this pulpit many times since he 
made this statement: "No other success 
can compensate for failure in the 
home." 

Now, in the words of the Apostle 
Paul, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear 



heard . . . the things which God hath 
prepared for them that love him" (1 
Cor. 2:9) and keep his command- 
ments. I bear testimony, my brethren 
and sisters, that this is God's work and 
that the great spirit and the power and 
the influence of this conference have 
truly been a feast to which we can 
anchor, which we can carry away 
with us, and which can modify our 
lives where they need to be modified, 
that we might draw closer unto our 
Heavenly Father and our committed 
purpose as the children of our Heav- 
enly Father. I bear witness of this and 
of the reality of the mission of his 
Beloved Son, and I do it in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



The Will of God 

President David 0. McKay 

(Read by his son Robert R. McKay) 



• And now, my brethren and sisters, 
we have come to the closing session 
of another great conference of the 
Church. My soul, with yours, has 
been filled with thanksgiving and 
gratitude to our Heavenly Father for 
the outpouring of his Holy Spirit 
throughout the entire conference. We 
have heard inspirational and uplifting 
messages from the leaders of- the 
Church. I love these associates of the 
general authorities, and love them in 
the spirit of the true meaning of that 
word — the love of the brotherhood of 
Christ. God bless them! 

During these various sessions of con- 
ference, we have had testimony of the 
Spirit that we are children of our Father 
in heaven. We have had testimony that 
God is a living being. We have had 
testimony that Christ, who was cruci- 
fied and who rose the third day a 
resurrected being, is the head of ■ his 
Church. We have had testimony of 
the Spirit that he has revealed in this 
dispensation the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
which is again established on earth in 
all its fullness. The gospel of Jesus 
Christ, as revealed to the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, is in very deed in every 
way the power of God unto salvation. 
It gives to every man the perfect life 
here, and through obedience to gospel 
principles it gives us eternal life. 

What is eternal life? In that glori- 
ous prayer of intercession offered by 
Jesus, our Redeemer, just before he 
crossed the brook Cedron and received 
the traitor's kiss that betrayed him into 
the hands of the soldiers, we find these 
words: "And this is life eternal, that 



they might know thee the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou 
hast sent." (John 17:3.) To know God 
and his Son is eternal life. There is 
the key. Life eternal is what I desire. 
I desire it more than I desire anything 
else in the world — life eternal for me 
and mine, for you, and for all the 
world. And there in the words of the 
Redeemer himself we have the secret. 

But how may we know him? That 
is the next question. Has he at any 
time, or on any occasion, answered that 
question? If so, we want the answer, 
because it is vital. In searching the 
record as it is given to us by men who 
associated daily with the Lord, we find 
that upon one occasion men who were 
listening to him cried out against him. 
They opposed his works, as men today 
oppose him. And one voice cried out 
and said in effect, "How do we know 
that what you tell us is true? How 
do we know that your profession of 
being the Son of God is true." And 
Jesus answered him in just a simple 
way (and note the test): "If any man 
will do his will, he shall know of the 
doctrine, whether it be of God, or 
whether I speak of myself." (John 
7:17. Italics added.) 

That test is most sound. It is most 
philosophical. It is the most simple 
test to give knowledge to an indivi- 
dual of which the human mind can 
conceive. Doing a thing, introducing 
it into your very being, will convince 
you whether it is good or whether it 
is bad. You may not be able to con- 
vince me of that which you know, but 
you know it because you have lived it. 



1152 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



That is the test that the Savior gave 
to those men when they asked him 
how they should know whether the 
doctrine was of God or whether it 
was of man. 

We have answered the question that 
if we shall do his will we shall know, 
but now comes the question, what is 
"the will"? And therein is the whole 
essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Just as plainly as Jesus stated and de- 
fined what eternal life is, or how we 
shall know it, just as plainly as he 
laid down that test, just as plainly has 
he expressed what his will is. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints bears testimony to 
the world that this will of God has 
been made manifest in this dispensa- 
tion, that the principles of the gospel, 
the principles of life, have been re- 
vealed. They are in harmony with 
the principles that Christ taught in 
the meridian of time. It is impos- 
sible to give here all the principles 
that constitute that will, but they are 
so simple that, as the scriptures say, 
"the wayfaring men, though fools, 
shall not err therein." (Isa. 35:8.) 

After obeying the principles and 
ordinances of the gospel, "the will" 
of God is to serve your fellowmen, 
benefiting them, making this world 
better for your having lived in it. 
Christ gave his all to teach us that 
principle. And he made the state- 
ment: "Inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of the least of these my breth- 
ren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 
25:40.) This is the message God has 
given to us. This Church is God's 
Church, which is so perfectly organ- 
ized that every man and every woman, 
every child, may have an opportunity 
to do something good for somebody 
else. It is the obligation of our priest- 
hood members, it is the responsibility 



of the auxiliary organizations and of 
every member to serve and do God's 
will. If we do, and the more we do it, 
the more we shall become convinced 
that it is the work of God, because 
we are testing it. Then, by doing the 
will of God, we get to know God and 
get close to him and to feel that life 
eternal is ours. We shall feel to love 
humanity everywhere, and we can cry 
out with the apostles of old, "We know 
that we have passed from death unto 
life, because we love the brethren." 
(1 John 3:14.) 

God does reveal today to the human 
soul the reality of the resurrection of 
the Lord, the divinity of this great 
work, the truth, the divine and eternal 
truth that God lives, not as a power, 
an essence, a force, but as our Father 
in heaven. Oh, why do men try to 
make that power, recognized by science 
and religion everywhere, a mere force? 
I sometimes wish men would kneel 
down and try to pray to electricity or 
atomic power. Imagine trying to pray 
to these forces. You cannot do it, and 
yet they are great and known forces. 
You can, however, pray to God the 
Father, a personal being. God re- 
veals to the soul his existence. He 
reveals the deity of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who came to make known to 
us the great reality of the existence of 
God and his Son; and in that spirit, 
and with such witness in my soul, I 
bear testimony today that Jesus Christ 
is the Redeemer of the world. 

"I know that my Redeemer lives; 
What comfort this sweet sentence 

gives! 
He lives, He lives, who once was dead. 
He lives, my ever-living head. 

"He lives, all glory to his name! 
He lives, my Savior, still the same; 



O sweet the joy this sentence gives: 
'I know that my Redeemer lives!'" 

(Samuel Medley) 

God help us and all the world to 
sense the reality that the gospel of 
Jesus Christ is established among men, 
and that through obedience to it the 
fatherhood of God and the brother- 
hood of man may be realities to every 
mother and father, every son and 
daughter. God hasten the day when 
that testimony will be real in every 
heart. 

God bless you men of the priesthood. 
May you hold it in dignity and righ- 
teousness that comes from within, not 
from without. 

God bless our friends of the radio 
and television audience and the man- 
agers and owners of the stations who 
have made these broadcasts possible. 
God bless our friends with whom we 
associate and who are contributing to 
the advancement of this great Church. 
We are grateful for their fellowship. 

God bless us that we may go home 
with a firmer resolve than we have 
ever had before to live the gospel of 
Jesus Christ, to be kind to our fami- 
lies and to our neighbors, to be hon- 
est in all our dealings so that men 
seeing our good works may be led 
to glorify our Father in heaven. 

I leave my blessings with you, with 
the sick and afflicted, with our soldier 
boys, some of whom are paying the 
supreme sacrifice for freedom, with our 
missionaries scattered around the 
world. I pray that God's protecting 
care will be with them wherever they 
are. 

May God bless you all, and may he 
guide and help you that righteousness, 
harmony, and love for one another 
may dwell in each home, I pray in 
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 




DECEMBER 1966 



1153 



Christmas Song 
(Continued from page 1081) 

Macfarlane returned to the organ 
and adjusted himself on the stool. 
Hesitantly at first, then boldly, he 
struck the chords. Suddenly the 
room came to life. His wife picked 
up the melody, and the composer 
took the strong counter-melody of 
the bass: together they sang the 
composition once, twice, and then 
a third time. At its end, Ann was 
crying. 



Amid his joy, Macfarlane har- 
bored a touch of misgiving: No 
longer did the song contain any 
evidence of Charles Walker's 
words. Nevertheless, it was the 
poet's writing that had launched 
the song, and for that contribution 
he ascribed Walker's name to the 
manuscript. 

Charles Walker was elated with 
the new song. He recognized its 
appeal and hinted of the popular- 
ity it would one day enjoy. He 
would not, however, lay any claim 



I THE 
SPOKEN 
WORD i 



SAFEGUARDS IN 
MAKING DECISIONS 



RICHARD l_. EVANS 

"The complexity of life is shown by . . . the necessity of choice," 1 said 
David Starr Jordan. Since the Lord God gave us our free agency, the 
right and responsibility of choice is among the most insistent obligations 
of life. Decisions are often a struggle for all of us, with so much to do, 
so much to overcome, so much to decide. Sometimes our stubbornness 
enters in, sometimes our pride, sometimes our appetites, sometimes our 
ignorance. Decisions of ignorance are among the most frightening. "To 
choose, it is first necessary to know." 2 Among the foremost safeguards in 
making decisions is first to get the facts— to be prepared, to be informed, 
to anticipate, and not to let ourselves, if possible, suddenly come upon 
a decision unprepared. Of course, there are times when we can't antici- 
pate, times that require sudden decisions. For these also the answer is 
all possible preparation, and also alertness, with no dulling of the senses 
to make ourselves susceptible to accident or slow reaction. But besides 
decisions of ignorance, there are decisions of defiance— decisions when 
we know the rules, the commandments, when we know the right and 
wrong but ignore what we know and fail to heed the warning sense 
within us, fail to stay with our standards. Decisions in defiance of 
standards are among the most heartbreaking and lead to greatest regret. 
There are other decisions also for which there isn't any easy answer: 
personal problems, problems of mind and emotion. One safeguard in 
making these and other decisions is to seek the counsel of competent 
people, and to confide in family and trustworthy friends, and in prayer - 
fulness to seek the counsel of our Father and unfailing Friend. "Whenever 
you are in doubt about any duty or work which you have to perform," 
said Wilford Woodruff, "never proceed . . . until you . . . labor in 
prayer." These then are sources of assurance and safety in decision: to 
know all we can, to be prepared, to face and respect facts; to have 
standards, to stay with our standards; to keep from that which would 
dull our senses and impair our judgment in sudden decision: to seek 
counsel from competent people, to confide in family and trustworthy 
friends; and to seek prayerfully guidance, comfort, and help from our 
Father and Friend. 

1 David Starr Jordan, The Call of the Twentieth Century: An Address to Young Men, published 
by American Unitarian Association, Boston. Copyright 1903 by American Unitarian Association. 
-Author unknown. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System, October 23, 1966. Copyright 1966. 



to its origin. It was Macfarlane's 
song, both words and music, and to 
him should go all the credit. 

When the St. George choir sang 
the song for the first time, it re- 
ceived an ardent reception. In the 
following weeks the people sang it 
in their homes, in their caroling, in 
their many gatherings. By the fol- 
lowing Christmas Saints all over 
the Church were singing the Mac- 
farlane hymn. 

From the Utah territory the song 
spread across the nation, and in 
Albany and Atlanta, Lafayette and 
Lincoln, the people sang: 

"Far, far away on Judea's plains, 
Shepherds of old heard the joy- 
ous strains." 

And across the seas the world 
heard it. In Brussels and Bordeaux, 
Liverpool and Lausanne, the strains 
peeled forth: 

"Glory to God, Glory to God, 
Glory to God in the highest; 
Peace on earth, goodwill to men, 
Peace on earth, goodwill to men!" 

And so John M. Macfarlane's 
message rings forth each year, tell- 
ing the people the great message of 
Christmas, as in these words from 
the second verse: 

"Sweet are the strains of redeeming 

love, 
Message of mercy from heav'n 

above," 

And from the third stanza: 

"Lord, with the angels we too 

would rejoice; 
Help us to sing with the heart and 

voice." 

Then the song concludes with a 
world call for brotherhood: 

"Hasten the time when, from ev'ry 

clime, 
Men shall unite in the strains sub- 
lime: 
Glory to God, Glory to God, 
Glory to God in the highest; 
Peace on earth, goodwill to men, 
Peace on earth, goodwill to men!" 

Not immediately, but gradually, 
as he realized that a Mormon had 
given to the world one of its uni- 
versal Christmas hymns, John M. 
Macfarlane acknowledged that his 
special calling to a climate much 
like that of Judea had been 
fulfilled. 



1154 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




Scientists in medical "space ship" prepare to enter blood- 
stream of stricken colleague in scene from Fantastic Voyage. 

Best of Movies 

BY HOWARD PEARSON 

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, DESERET NEWS 



• Among unusual films creating 
talk among movie-going families is 
Fantastic Voyage. This production 
features a combination of science- 
fiction, suspense, and educational 
interest. The plot revolves around 
miniaturization of human beings- 
physicians and other scientists— so 
they can be sent into the blood 
stream of an injured scientist and 
perform an operation from the 
inside. 

If this sounds as if it is not for 
the squeamish, rest assured; there's 
nothing objectionable for the gen- 
eral audience. Nothing has been 
done to detract from the dignity 
of the human being. In fact, the 
opposite condition holds true. The 
special effects by which lymph 
glands and tissues and parts of the 
body are created are skillfully 
done. And youngsters are certain 
to discuss many phases of the pic- 
ture with parents and teachers or 
go scurrying for books to read on 
the subject. 

The cast includes Stephen Boyd, 
Edmund O'Brien, Arthur Kennedy, 
and Arthur O'Connell. 

Another new picture that should 
appeal to all ages is Alvarez Kelly, 
starring William Holden and Rich- 
ard Widmark. Based on a true 
incident of Civil War times, the 
story deals with an adventurer who 
delivers 5,000 head of cattle to 
General Grant, then besieging 
Richmond. The big herd is driven 
through the swamp to the accom- 
paniment of exciting screen ad- 
venture. 

Also suggested as entertaining 



movies for all members of Latter- 
day Saint families who like movies 
are the following: 

The Bible . . . In the Beginning, 
which covers the first part of 
Genesis from the Creation to Abra- 
ham and uses the words of the 
King James translation with mag- 
nificence and beauty. 

Walt Disney's Fighting Prince of 
Donegal, a lively adventure story 
of a 16th century Irish leader who 
was determined to unite the vari- 
ous clans to battle for independence 
from England. 

How to Steal a Million, starring 
Audrey Hepburn and Peter 
O'Toole, is a delightful comedy 
that should appeal to teenagers 
and their parents. The action is 
set against the background of Paris, 
its scenic attractions, and its 
museums. 

Smoky is the heart-warming and 
action-packed story of a ranch 
owner who tames a wild horse until 
the friendship of man for beast 
and vice versa becomes a thing of 
enchantment. Many beautiful 
scenes in the Southwest mark the 
film, which stars Fess Parker. 

Years of Lightning, Day of 
Drums deals with the short tenure 
in office of President John F. Ken- 
nedy, focusing on the major crises 
of his presidency, developing their 
backgrounds, and showing how he 
met the problems. The film, pro- 
duced by the U. S. Information 
Agency for exhibition in countries 
outside the United States, has only 
recently, through an act of Con- 
gress, become available in the U. S. 




Motion pictures reviewed on this page are neither approved nor recom- 
mended by the Church or the Era. They are, however, in the judgment of 
the reviewer, among the least objectionable of the current films. 



On the next festive occasion let your family enjoy 
rolls, bread, buns, cookies, and pastries made 
with whole wheat flour. Better to eat, and better 
for them. You'll know it's good because you 
made it. Let your family be the judge and jury. 
Write for details on four models Lee Household 
Mills so your family can enjoy homemade whole 
wheat bakery, rich in B complex vitamins. 

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P.O. Box 1115 Dept. AA Salt Lake City, Utah 



DECEMBER 1966 



1155 



A Different Kind of Christmas 
(Continued from page 1079) 

to his pleading face. "I can't," she 
said. "Besides, what could he re- 
member? He was only a little 
more than five when his own 
mother died, and I don't think his 
pa did much last Christmas." 

Jed touched her shoulder gently. 
"I know how hard it is for you, 
Martha. But think of the boy." He 
turned and went back out into the 
snowy weather. 

Think of the boy. Why should 
she think of him when her own 
children, her two blue-eyed, golden- 
curled daughters, had been left 
beside the trail back there on that 
endless, empty prairie? The boy 



came to her not because she wanted 
him but because she couldn't say 
no to the bishop back in Salt Lake 
City last April before they came 
to settle in this valley. Bishop 
Clay had brought Daniel to her and 
Jed one day and said, "I want you 
to care for this lad. His mother 
died on the trek last summer and 
his pa passed away last week. He 
needs a good home." 

Jed had gripped the bishop's 
hand and with tears in his eyes 
thanked him, but Martha had 
turned away from the sight of the 
thin, ragged, six-year-old boy who 
stood before them, not fast enough, 
however, to miss the sudden brief 
smile he flashed at her, a smile 
that should have caught her heart 



I THE 
SPOKEN 
WORD i 



CLEANLINESS AND 
COMPETENCE 



RICHARD L. EVANS 

Some thoughts from David Starr Jordan on health and habits and cleanli- 
ness and competence are recalled for their forthright frankness: "The 
finest piece of mechanism in all the universe," he said, "is the brain of 
man and the mind which is its manifestation. . . . The sober man is 
one who protects his brain from all that would do it harm. . . . The 
Twentieth Century above all others will be strenuous, complex . . . 
[and] will ask for men of instant decision, men whose mental equipment 
is all in order. . . . No man can afford to look downward for his 
enjoyments. . . . The pleasures of vice are mere illusions, tricks of the 
nervous system, and each time these tricks are played it is more and 
more difficult for the mind to tell the truth. Such deceptions come 
through drunkenness and narcoticism. In greater or less degree all 
nerve-affecting drugs produce it; alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, opium, 
cocaine, and the rest, strong or weak. Habitual use of any of these is a 
physical vice. A physical vice becomes a moral vice, and all vice leaves 
its record on the nervous system. To cultivate vice is to render the actual 
machinery of our mind incapable of normal action. ... It is the brain's 
business to know, to think, to will, and to act. . . . One and all these 
various drugs tend to give the impression of a power or a pleasure, 
or an activity, which we do not possess. One and all, their function 
is to force the nervous system to lie. One and all, the result of their 
habitual use is to render the nervous system incapable of ever telling 
the truth. . . . Indulgence . . . destroys wisdom and virtue; it destroys 
faith and hope and love. . . . Whatever you do, . . . count all the 
cost. ... A man ought to be stronger than anything that can happen 
to him." 1 Thus spoke the eminent educator, Dr. Jordan, builder of 
character, of minds, and of men. And this he added: "To be clean is to 
be strong. ... To say no at the right time, and then stand by it, is the 
first element of success. . . . He is the wise man who, for all his life, 
can keep mind and soul and body clean." 

1 S elected from The Strength of Being Clean and The Call of the Twentieth Century, an address 
to young men, by David Starr Jordan, American biologist and former president of Leland 
Stanford University. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System September 25, 1966. Copyright 1966. 



and opened it wide. Her heart 
was closed, though, locked tightly 
around the memory of her two 
gentle little girls. She didn't want 
a noisy, rowdy boy banging around, 
disturbing those memories, filling 
the cabin with a boy's loud games. 

Yet she had taken him, because 
she felt she had no choice. Faced 
with the bishop's request— more of 
an order, really— and Jed's obvious 
joy, she couldn't refuse. 

He came with them out to this 
new valley west of the Salt Lake 
settlement and had proved himself 
a great help to Jed, despite his 
young age. Sometimes Martha felt 
pity for him, but she didn't love 
him. 

With Jed it was different. He 
had accepted Daniel immediately 
as his own son and enjoyed having 
the boy with him. They had a 
special relationship, a secret shar- 
ing that sometimes shut Martha 
out and made her wonder once, 
when she could bear to think of it, 
how Jed had felt about somehow 
seeming to be just outside the 
charmed circle she and her daugh- 
ters had formed. Not that she 
really resented Jed and Daniel's 
relationship— she was glad Jed gave 
the boy some attention since she 
so often ignored him— but some- 
times she felt that Jed had grown 
to love the boy more than he did 
her. She told him as much one 
evening after the man and boy had 
come laughing together into the 
cabin only to sober up when they 
saw "her, but not before one of 
those quick smiles from Daniel, the 
smile she was never sure had 
actually been there, it was gone so 
fast. 

When Daniel went back outside 
for a bucket of water, Martha 
spoke to Jed. 

"Seems as if you enjoy the boy's 
company more than you do mine 
these days." 

Jed didn't look her quite squarely 
in the eye. "That's not so, Martha." 

"The two of you laughing to- 
gether all the time. You never 
laugh with me anymore." 

His voice was quiet. "You don't 
seem to find much to laugh about 
lately, Martha." 

It was true, of course. When the 
girls were with them they had been 
a happy family, laughing at humor 
and hardship alike. It just seemed 
as if all her laughter had also been 
buried on that grim morning back 



1156 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



on the desolate prairie. 

"I'm sorry, Jed," Martha said. "I 
just can't seem to forget my girls. 
I can't feel close to that boy. He's 
always so serious around me. Al- 
most like he's afraid. Calls me 
'Aunt Martha.' I notice he calls 
you 'Pa.' Did you tell him to call 
you that?" 

"No. He just started doing it. 
He's such a little fellow, Martha, 
but he knows how people feel 
about him. He needs more than 
just a full stomach and a place 
to sleep." 

"I know," she said. "I know." 
She was ashamed that she could 
deny love to a child. Any child. 
She tried harder after that, but 
she found she was always compar- 
ing him with her daughters. They 
had been soft and yielding, a 
pleasure to hold close. Daniel was 
bony and wiry, and his small body 
was hard-muscled from the work 
he did with Jed. The girls had 
been golden-curled and had taken 
pride in keeping their little pina- 
fores neat and clean. Daniel was 
always grimy; he seemed to at- 
tract dirt, and his shirt always hung 
out from his overalls. The girls 
had liked to play quietly in the 
house with their rag dolls. Daniel 
preferred the outdoors, where he 
held full-scale, one-man battles, 
playing the parts of both settlers 
and Indians and making enough 
noise for any real fight. 

It seemed as if he was always 
doing something to plague her. Not 
intentionally, to be sure. At least 
Jed said not. Just the high spirits 
and imagination of a boy, Jed said. 
There was the time he took her best 
tied quilt outside to build a tepee 
by the creek bank. By the time 
she found it, it was muddy and 
bedraggled and had to be labori- 
ously washed. 

Another day he got into the 
trunk she had brought across the 
plains and was playing with the 
carved wooden animals Grandpa 
Elliot had made for Maybelle and 
Stellie. She couldn't bear to see 
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the precious seeds brought from 
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clothes that could not easily be 
replaced. And so Martha told Jed 
that she wanted him to take Daniel 
back to Salt Lake on his next trip 
for supplies and to give him back 
to Bishop Clay. 

Jed looked at her for a long time 
before he answered, "Yes, maybe 
that would be best. For the boy's 
sake. I'll take him when I go in 
January." 

Daniel seemed to sense some- 
thing, because he tried to please 
her after that and was careful not 
to annoy her. When winter came 
and he had to be indoors much of 
the time, he tried to play quietly, 
although occasionally the natural 
inclinations of a boy took over and 
he had to be reprimanded. Martha 
wished that Sister Norton had been 
able to establish the school for the 
children of the settlers, but she had 
been unable to get any slates or 
copy books and had decided to 
wait until the next fall. 

Daniel mentioned Christmas only 
once. One day it was too cold 
and snowy to play outside, and he 
had been humming softly to him- 
self as he played in his corner. 
Suddenly he looked up at Martha 



and asked, "Can you sing, Aunt 
Martha?" 

Martha paused and straightened 
up from the table where she was 
kneading bread. She used to sing 
for her girls all the time. 

"No, I can't, Daniel," she said. 
"Not any more." 

"My mother used to sing a pretty 
song at Christmas," he said. "I wish 
I could remember it." 

He said nothing more, and she 
did not question him. She didn't 
want to stir up any further memo- 
ries of Christmas, since she didn't 
intend to observe the day. Perhaps 
he did recall snatches of past 
Christmases, but certainly he 
wouldn't remember enough that it 
would make any difference to him. 

Martha couldn't help thinking of 
Christmases past as the day ap- 
proached. Three years ago had 
been the best one, before the per- 
secution of the Saints in Nauvoo 
got so bad. Maybelle had been 
seven then, and Stellie five. She 
had made rag dolls for them with 
pretty, flouncy dresses and cunning 
little bonnets. That was the year 
Grandpa Elliot had given them the 
carved animals and had also carved 



a beautiful little toy horse and car- 
riage for Maybelle, promising 
Stellie he'd make her one when she 
was seven. 

Dwelling as she did in her past 
memories, Martha paid very little 
attention to Daniel those last few 
days before Christmas. He went 
in and out with Jed and she didn't 
attempt to keep track of him. On 
the day before Christmas Jed went 
through the deep snow to do some 
chores for Brother Norton, who was 
ill. Daniel was alone outside most 
of the day, although he made sev- 
eral rather furtive trips in and out 
of the cabin. On one trip he took 
the sticks he had been tying to- 
gether. 

Toward evening Martha went 
out to the stable to milk Rosie, 
since Jed had not yet returned. As 
she approached, she saw there was 
a light inside. Opening the door 
softly, she peered within. Daniel 
had lit the barn lantern, and within 
its glow he knelt in the straw by 
Rosie's stall. In front of him were 
the sticks he had tied together, 
which Martha recognized now as a 
crude cradle. It held Stellie's rag 
doll, all wrapped up in the white 



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1158 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



shawl Martha kept in her trunk, 
the shawl she had used to wrap 
her babies. Her impulse was to 
rush in and snatch it, but she 
stopped, because the scene was 
strangely beautiful in the soft light 
from the lantern. Rosie and the 
two sheep stood close by, watching 
Daniel. He seemed to be address- 
ing them when he spoke. 

"The shepherds came following 
the star," he was saying. "And 
they found the baby Jesus who had 
been born in a stable." He paused 
for a moment, then went on. "And 
his mother loved him." 

Martha felt suddenly that she 
couldn't breathe. Another mother, 
another day, had loved her little 
boy and had told him the beauti- 
ful story of the Christ Child with 
such love that he hadn't forgotten 
it, young as he was. And she, 
Martha, had failed that mother. 

In the silence she began to sing. 
"Silent night," she sang. "Holy 
night." 

Daniel didn't move until the song 
was finished. Then he turned with 
that quick, heart-melting smile. 

"That's the one," he whispered. 
"That's the song that my mother 



used to sing to me." 

Martha ran forward and gath- 
ered the boy into her arms. He 
responded immediately, clasping 
his arms tightly around her. 

"Danny," Martha said, "it's beau- 
tiful. Your cradle and little scene 
here." 

"You never called me Danny 
before," he murmured, his head 
against her neck. 

"I didn't do a lot of things," she 
said. As she held him close, the 
bands around her heart seemed to 
loosen and break. 

"Danny," she said, sitting on the 
edge of Rosie's manger, "let's go 
in and get the cabin ready for 
Christmas. Maybe it isn't too late 
for Jed—for Pa to get that tree. 
It might be a little different kind 
of Christmas, but it will still be a 
little like the Christmases we used 
to know. We'll set up your cradle 
with the Christ Child in it under 
the tree, because that's what Christ- 
mas is all about." 

"Do you mind it being different?" 
Danny asked. "I mean with a boy 
instead of your girls?" 

Martha wondered how long it 
would take her to make up to him 



for the hurt she had inflicted these 
many months. "No," she said. 
"After all, the Baby Jesus was a 
boy." 

"That's right," he said wonder- 
ingly. 

"I'll open my trunk," said Martha. 
"We'll get out those carved animals 
to put around your manger scene. 
We'll string some dried berries to 
put on the tree, and when it's all 
done the three of us will sing 
'Silent Night' and Pa will tell us 
the story of the Christ Child." 

She thought about the lovely 
little carved horse and carriage 
Maybelle had loved so much, and 
knew it would be the perfect gift 
to put under the tree for Danny's 
Christmas morning. 

She set him down on the floor 
and put her arm around his 
shoulders. 

"Merry Christmas," she said. 
"Merry Christmas, Danny." 

He looked up at her with a smile 
that did not fade quickly away 
this time, a sweet smile full of the 
love he had been waiting to give 
her. 

"Merry Christmas," he said, and 
then added softly, "Mother." 



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DECEMBER MORNINGS 

BY JESSIE CANNON ELDRIDGE 

December mornings crackle when we walk. 
Like brittle candy is the frosted snow 
That fell and melted, and then froze to glow 
Star-bright beneath us. Should we try to talk. 
Our words hang on the air a fragile minute 
Before dissolving into waves of sound. 
Our breath in diamond crystals may be found 
Upon our hands with tiny white pearls in it. 
This is a magic world when the sun comes up 
Like a great, golden ball that gilds the earth 
As if a fairy scene were given birth, 
And beauty overflowed from Winters cup. 
December mornings glisten, and they shine 
Like Christmas trimmings hung out on a line! 



Much Like Paul 
(Continued from page 1083) 
time had been consumed/' 4 

Preston Nibley wrote about a 
meeting held March 29, 1835, at 
Huntsburg, near Kirtland. Joseph 
Smith spoke for about three hours, 
and at the conclusion of the meet- 
ing two people came forward and 
asked for baptism. Brother Nibley 
continues: 

"I have found that three-hour 
sermons were not uncommon with 
the Prophet. The words of living 
life seemed to flow from his lips, 
and he held his audiences without 
difficulty. Considering that he 
had not been trained as a scholar 
or public speaker, one must con- 
clude that his native eloquence was 
a gift of God." 5 

Paul's extensive travels in his 
missionary labors denied him a 
normal association with family and 
friends. We find him expressing 
his feelings concerning this isola- 
tion by referring to the young 
convert and stalwart in the truth 
as "Timothy, my own son in the 
faith "(1 Tim. 1:2.) 

Joseph too was prevented from 
following normal pursuits by the 
demands of his calling, imprison- 
ment, and long months of forced 
hiding. Perhaps at such times he 
received great inspiration and con- 
solation from the life and words of 
Paul, The Prophet expressed well 
the devotion of both servants of 
God in the following words from 
his journal: 

"No month ever found me more 
busily engaged than November; 
but as my life consisted of activity 
and unyielding exertions, I made 
this my rule: When the Lord com- 
mands, do it." 6 



In the lives of both men there 
were those who sought to perse- 
cute and destroy them. Joseph 
was to suffer persecution from the 
time of the First Vision until his 
death 24 years later. With more 
cause, because of his own persecu- 
tion of the Christians, Paul also 
faced objections, like that voiced by 
Ananias, "Lord, I have heard by 
many of this man, how much evil 
he hath done to thy saints at Jeru- 
salem." But the Lord said unto 
him, "Go thy way; for he is a 
chosen vessel unto me, to bear my 
name before the Gentiles, and 
kings, and the children of Israel: 
For I will show him how great 
things he must suffer for my name's 
sake." (Acts 9:13, 15-16.) 

As Joseph eluded his enemies, 
so "their laying await" to kill him 
was known by Paul. "And they 
watched the gates day and night 
to kill him." (Acts 9:24.) 

In the life of each man there 
was also a particularly obvious 
moment when they might have 
turned from their course and 
avoided the martyrdom with which 
each was to seal his testimony. 

With Paul this moment came at 
Caesarea when the Prophet Agabus 
warned him against continuing on 
to Jerusalem. Agabus bound his 
own hands and feet with Paul's 
girdle, saying as he did so, "So shall 
the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man 
that owneth this girdle, and shall 
deliver him into the hands of the 
Gentiles." (Acts 21:11.) 

Paul's courageous answer was 
such that perhaps the Prophet 
Joseph Smith drew comfort from 
it as he read the words, ". . . What 
mean ye to weep and to break 
mine heart? for I am ready not to 



1160 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



be bound only, but also to die at 
Jerusalem for the name of the Lord 
Jesus." (Acts 21:13.) 

To Paul there was no choice, 
determined as he was to do all in 
his power to lessen the existing rift 
between the Jewish and the Gentile 
members of the new Church. He 
must return to Jerusalem, carrying 
with him contributions from his 
Gentile converts for the benefit of 
the impoverished Jewish Saints at 
Jerusalem. The scripture reads, 
"And when he would not be per- 
suaded, we ceased, saying, The will 
of the Lord be done." (Acts 21:14.) 
The Prophet Joseph's choice 
came after he had crossed the river 
to Montrose, Iowa, intending to 
elude his enemies by going west. 
He received letters entreating him 
to return. Some of his associates 
were accusing him of cowardice. 
While he saw clearly what the re- 
sult would be, he decided to 
return. "If my life is of no value 
to my friends, it is of none to 
myself," he said. 7 

Paul and Joseph Smith had each 
known the heartbreak of having 
those near them lose the faith. A 
number proved themselves false 
friends to the Prophet Joseph. 
And as Paul's life draws to a close, 
he mentions one in particular: 
"For Demas hath forsaken me, 
having loved this present world, 
and is departed unto Thessa- 
lonica. ..." (2 Tim. 4:10.) 

Joseph stated that he had given 
all the necessary keys to the Twelve 
so the work would still go forward 
if he was taken. (See D&C 107.) 
He tried to spare his brother 
Hyrum by advising him to take 
his family and go by steamboat 
to Cincinnati, but Hyrum's reply 
was, "Joseph, I can't leave you." 

Paul too made preparations to 
leave the work in hands that would 
carry it forward: ". . . my beloved 
son [in the gospel] Timothy. Do 
thy diligence to come shortly unto 
me. . . . Take Mark, and bring 
him with thee: [Mark, whom Paul 
had refused to take along on the 
second missionary journey, he now 
recognizes to be a valiant servant] 
for he is profitable to me for the 
ministry." (2 Tim. 1:1; 4:9, 11.) 
Both men recognized the import- 
ance of the written word in pre- 
senting the principles of truth to 
the people. Joseph put forth great 
effort in correcting biblical errors 
and in his translation of the gold 
plates. With his aging form facing 



the chill of the Roman winter, Paul 
instructs Timothy to bring his 
cloak and the parchments, but, if 
there is to be a choice, it is to be 
in favor of the parchments. 

Perhaps the most striking parallel 
of all is the calm resignation with 
which each faced what was to 
come, each satisfied that he had 
done his best. From Carthage jail 
on the morning of his death, 
Joseph wrote to his wife, "I am 
very much resigned to my lot, 
knowing I am justified and have 
done the best that I could." 8 

On his way to the jail, Joseph 
voiced these words: "I am going 
like a lamb to the slaughter, but I 
am calm as a summer's morning. 
I have a conscience void of offense 
toward God and toward all men." 9 

Realizing that his own death was 
imminent, Paul wrote: "For I am 
now ready to be offered, and the 
time for my departure is at hand. 
I have fought a good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept 
the faith." (2 Tim. 4:6-7.) 

In view of these parallels, it 
seems entirely appropriate that 
when the Prophet wrote what are 
now known as the Articles of Faith, 
he included these words: ". . . we 
believe all things, we hope all 
things, we have endured many 
things. . . ." (Article of Faith 13.) 

Turning to Paul's writings, we 
find in his famous sermon on 
charity these words: "Beareth all 
things, belie veth all things, hopeth 
all things, endureth all things." 
(See 1 Cor. 13:7.) 

These words are similarly re- 
corded in Moroni, chapter 7, as 
Moroni presents Mormon's teach- 
ings concerning charity. Because 
of the similarity of these two ser- 
mons, some scholars have suggested 
that Mormon and Paul received 
this knowledge from a common 
source, and both are quite likely 
quoting the words of the Savior— 
the ultimate source of inspiration 
for both the Apostle Paul and the 
Prophet Joseph Smith. 



FOOTNOTES 

'Joseph Fielding Smith (conip. ), Teachings 
of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: 
Deseret News Press, 1938), p. 180. 

-Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Salt Lake 
City: Deseret Book Company, 1964), p. 45. 

*Ibid., p. 46. 

'Quoted in Preston Nibley, Joseph Smith the 
Prophet (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 
1946), pp. 212-3. 

-Ibid., p. 221. 

'•Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 2, 
p. 170. 

-DHC, Vol. 6, p. 549. 

"Ibid., p. 605. 

■Ibid., p. 555. 




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Since Cumorah 
(Continued from page 1085) 

Holy Spirit bestowed on every 
baptized person with the 'right and 
duty' to use these gifts for the 
building up of the Body of 
Christ." 14 

Eduard Meyer noted long ago 
that one of the unique aspects 
of Mormonism, setting it off com- 
pletely from all other religions, 
was the idea of a continuation of 
the charismatic gifts as shared by 
all members. 15 The "right and 
duty" in our quotation refers to the 
new Catholic policy of "every 
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'16 



ary.' 

There is much talk now in both 
Protestant and Catholic journals of 
revelation and inspiration— need we 
remind the reader that from the 
beginning its claim to continuing 
revelation was considered to be the 
most obnoxious and dangerous 
aspect of Mormonism? 17 Father 
Latourelle notes that the Second 
Vatican Council is the very first 
time a council of the church has 
ever methodically considered the 
basic foundations of revelation, 
tradition, and inspiration. 18 And 
now we are told that "when either 
the Roman Pontiff or the body of 
bishops in conjunction with him 
defines a proposition, they pro- 
pound it in connection with revela- 
tion," so that "all are bound to 
abide by, and conform to, this 
Revelation. . . " 19 Infallibility, we 
are told, "is co-extensive with the 
deposit of divine revelation," i.e., 
the words of the Bible as "pro- 
pounded with the assistance of the 
Holy Spirit. . . ." 

Reversing the argument of Ter- 
tullian, the Pope proves the pres- 
ence of the Holy Spirit by the 
existence of the Church, instead of 



1162 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



vice versa-. "But if the Church is 
here, the Holy Spirit is also here, 
the Paraclete," so that "the Church 
can never fail to give assent to 
these definitions because of the 
activity of the Holy Spirit." 20 

The cornerstone of authority is 
now revelation and the Holy 
Spirit. But it was not always so. 
Whatever became of scholastic 
philosophy, the proudest and 
greatest achievement of the Ro- 
man Church, which up until now 
has been officially designated as 
the one proper key to revelation, 
i.e., to the deposit of the scrip- 
tures? 21 Now, however, revelation 
itself is something more than the 
word of God in the Bible; official 
statements are now to be consid- 
ered as made somehow "in connec- 
tion with revelation." Today 
scholasticism is out, and direct 
revelation is cautiously taking over. 
The present pope even refers to 
one of his predecessors, Pius XII, 
clearly but with careful indirection, 
as a prophet, one who spoke in 
"solemn tones like the voice of the 
Prophet of God and the Father of 
the World." 22 

The role of new documentary 
discoveries in bringing these 
strange changes about is evident 
from a number of papal utterances. 
"The Pope [Pius XII] recognizes 
that recent explorations, methods, 
diggings, texts, inscriptions, papyri, 
codexes, ruins, etc., have entirely 
changed the problems of Biblical 
exegesis in the last fifty years" 
(italics added), and he calls for 
intensified "search for the original 
texts, and a new scientific Catholic 
method of exegesis." 23 

Noting that "even such illustrious 
commentators a? St. Jerome some- 
times had relatively little success 
in explaining more difficult ques- 
tions" of scripture, the present 
Pope suggests "General Rules for 
the Exegete," requiring "appro- 
priate use of the new exegetical 
techniques, particularly those ad- 
vocated by the historical method 



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taken as a whole . . . relying on 
the help of textual criticism, 
literary criticism, and linguistic 
knowledge." He emphasizes the 
importance of "the sound findings 
of recent investigations," and 
allows that "the Catholic exegete 
can and should be free to exercise 
his own perspicacity and intelli- 
gence. Only in this way will each 
person . . . contribute to the con- 
tinuing progress of the sacred 
doctrine." 24 

Though this apparent freedom of 
investigation is actually to be un- 
der the strict surveillance of the 
"living magisterium" of the Church 
and "subject to the authority and 
jurisdiction of the Ordinaries," 25 
still it is the scholars with their 
"diggings, texts, inscriptions," etc., 
who furnish the information neces- 
sary to decide what the teachings 
and rites of the Church should be. 

It is astonishing how many of 
the changes that are taking place 
in Catholic and Protestant doc- 
trines and ordinances are in the 
direction of those very things that 
have heretofore been peculiar to 
Mormonism and that have always 
brought persecution and derision 
on the heads of the Saints in the 
past. This may be shown by a 
glance at the Dogmatic Constitu- 
tion on the Church, published by 
the Second Vatican Council on 
November 25, 1965. 26 

The first section is headed "The 
Father's Plan" and speaks of the 
gospel in terms of a plan going 
back to the pre-existence. The sec- 
ond chapter is entitled "The People 
of God," and in the section headed 
"A Chosen People," presents us 
with that new image of the church 
so startlingly different from the one 
that has been diligently cultivated 
since the Fathers of the fourth 
century, as it shows us "the new 
Israel, journeying in the present 
world. . . . moving forward through 
temptations and trials. . . ." 

The next section is headed "A 
Priestly People," and teaches that 



"the common priesthood of the 
faithful" is "in its own distinctive 
way a participation in the one 
priesthood of Christ. . . ." The next 
section announces that all must 
through the sacraments (ordi- 
nances ) be "reborn as sons of God." 
Next we learn that "the Holy 
People of God also share in Christ's 
prophetic office by bearing living 
witness to Him." This calls (in the 
next section) for the gifts of the 
Spirit, which should be widely 
enjoyed in the Church. The next 
section calls upon all to be mission- 
aries. 

Chapter VII has a title that 
would have shocked any church 
historian a few years back, when 
church and eschatology were held 
to be diametrically opposed to each 
other 27 : "The Eschatological Char- 
acter of the Wayfaring Church and 
its Union with the Heavenly 
Church." It was just this sort of 
talk that St. Augustine and his 
contemporaries effectively put an 
end to; for him and his scholastic 
successors ( who hardly receive any 
notice at all in the new order of 
things) the Church on earth was 
the eschatological and heavenly 
Church. 28 But now it is a different 
story as we are whisked off to 
Qumran to see a little band of 
"saints," scorned and rejected by 
the world, living in expectation of 
the coming Lord at the end of the 
times: "The final age of the world 
has already come upon us," the 
chapter begins, informing us that 
"until the appearance of new 
heavens and a new earth in which 
justice dwells, the wayfaring 
Church . . . wears the ephemeral 
look of this world." 

So now the Universal Church, 
militant and triumphant, estab- 
lished once for all to remain (ac- 
cording to the formula of the 
former Vatican Council) "firm and 
steadfast until the end of the 
world" has taken on "the ephem- 
eral look of this world"! Nay, for 
all its resounding claims "the 



1164 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Catholicity of the Church is always 
enormously deficient." 29 

The Christian world cannot be 
wholly unaware of moving in the 
direction of things that they 
mocked and derided when voices 
first spoke from Cumorah. One 
indication of this is the observation 
of one of the foremost Catholic 
authorities on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 
in one of the first and best books 
ever to appear on the subject, that 
the correct title for the community 
at Qumran should be Latter-day 
Saints, but that the title could not 
be used because unfortunately it 
had been preempted by "a so- 
called Christian sect." 30 

(Conclusion) 

FOOTNOTES 

X R. P. Marshall with M. J. Taylor, S.J., 
Liturgy and Christian Unity (Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J.s Prentice-Hall, 1965), p. 43. 

-Ibid., p. 5. 

"Ibid., p. 110. 

'Ibid., p. 124. 

r 'lbid. s p. 125. 

"Ibid., p. 128. 

■Ibid., p. 130. 

"Ibid., pp. 38, 10. Cf. p. 47: "Now we are 
seeking to recover the lost radiance of the 
Christian religion." 

"Address by Pope Paul VI, delivered March 
17, 1965, and printed in The Pope Speaks, 
Vol. 10, No. 4 (1965), p. 343. 

10 Quoted in The Pope Speaks, same issue as 
footnote 9 above, p. 269. Cf. p. 345, ". . . 
this new liturgy, this spiritual rebirth. . . ." 

^Ibid., pp. 51, 256, respectively. 

^Ibid., pp. 108-9. 

™Ibid., p. 365. 

"R. M. Brown, editorial in The Catholic 
World, March 1966, p. 341. 

15 Ed. Meyer, Ursprung und Geschichte der 
Mormonen (Berlin, 1912), pp. 80-81. 

™In The Pope Speaks, 10 (1964), p. 2. 

1T See our "Mixed Voices" in The Improve- 
ment Era, Vol. 62 (1959), pp. 145ff, 185, 
388-90, 501f. 

18 R. Latourelle, "Le Revelation et sa trans- 
mission selon la Constitution 'Dei verbum,' " in 
Gregorianum, 47 (1966), p. 36. 

1£l From the Dogmatic Constitution on the 
Church (De Ecclesia), published in The Pope 
Speaks, 10 (1965), p. 376. 

*°The Pope Speaks, 10 (1965), pp. 107, 376, 
260. Cf. Tertullian De pudicitia xxi, in Migne, 
Patrol. Lot., 2:1077-1080. 

21 See the discussion in M. Grabmann, 
Geschichte der scholastischen Methode (Graz, 
1957), I, 4-28. The Dogmatic Constitution 
issued by the First Vatican Council, April 24, 
1870, declared scholasticism to be "for all time 
the classic form of Catholic systematics." Ibid., 
p. 21. 

22 In The Pope Speaks, 10 (1964), p. 31. 

2a Cit. A. Bea, in Biblica, 24:315-316. 

- 4 See "General Guidelines for the Exegete," 
in The Pope Speaks, 10 (1964), pp. 87-89. 
Cf. Ibid., 10 (1965), p. 261. 

2 "37ie Pope Speaks, 10 (1964), pp. 90, 19- 
22. 

^See above, Note 19. 

-'"The "rediscovery of the importance of 
eschatology within the New Testament" has 
taken place only in recent years. C. H. Dahl, 
in W. Davies & D. Daube, The Background 
of the New Testament and Its Eschatology 
(Cambridge University, 1956), p. 422. 

2S Discussed by Paul Tillich, in Neue Zeit- 
schrift fur systematische Theologie, 3 (1961), 
pp. 237-8. 

■*>The Pope Speaks, 10 (1964), p. 80. 

^Georg Molin, Die Sohne des Lichts 
(Vienna: Herold, 1954), p. 146; see our 
summary in An Approach to the Book of Mor- 
mon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 
1964), pp. 153-4. 



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DECEMBER 1966 



1165 




dosepfi 
Smiiii 



• Most of us are well acquainted with the marvelous 
work accomplished by the Lord through the hands 
of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Keeping himself in 
harmony with the Spirit of the Lord in order to be 
able to receive revelation was no small accomplish- 
ment. Revelation is not normally free flowing. The 
recipient must be humble before the Lord and en- 
tirely free from guile or ambition for self-aggrandize- 
ment. We all know of the Prophet's success in this 
field and constantly marvel and wonder at it. 

There is another part of his life that is not so well 
known. This has to do with his physical makeup. No 
one doubts his determination. This quality was 
highly developed during his youth and constantly 
tested and increased. 

That he succeeded so well in bringing about the 
restoration was due in large measure to his physical 
strength and endurance. 

The Prophet Joseph inherited a strong physical 
frame. His father stood six feet three or four inches 
tall and was physically tough and strong. In a world 
of strong men, Joseph Smith, Sen., bowed to no one. 



1166 



His son Alvin, brother of the Prophet, was also a 
strong man^the strongest he ever knew, the Prophet 
said. 

Joseph himself was a strong man. Standing at least 
six feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds, Joseph 
had become strong by hard work with ax, saw, plow, 
and other farming tools. His endurance increased 
with his muscular strength. 

Let us review some of his physical accomplishments : 

In 1831 he walked much of the way from Kirtland 
to Missouri to dedicate the temple site in Indepen- 
dence, and this feat was without proper food or regu- 
lar meals. He returned in much the same manner— a 
total round-trip distance of approximately 2,500 miles. 
This is equivalent to the distance from Salt Lake City 
to New York. 

In 1834 he walked with Zion's Camp from Kirtland, 
Ohio, to Liberty, Missouri, a distance of about 1,200 
miles. No one heard him murmur at his blistered 
feet, at the quality or quantity of the food, nor did 
they ever accuse him of not pulling his share of wagons 
from the mud holes en route. 

amigtuy 
prophet 

ana a 

migniy map 

He could work all day, 

ride through the cold all night, 

and still be cheerful in his work the next day. 



On a January night in 1838 he left Kirtland at 
10 p.m. by horseback after a hurried warning that 
apostates were trying to find him to murder him. He 
rode 65 miles, all through the cold bitterness of the 
January night and into the next day before stopping. 
A few days later Emma and the children were brought 
in a wagon to his resting stop, and from there they 
began another 1,200-mile trip by wagon to Far West, 
Missouri. 

Brigham Young accompanied him in that caravan 
and learned a great deal that later served him well 
on his own 1,300-mile expedition to Salt Lake Vallev 
in 1847. 

Joseph's endurance was tested when he was in 
Liberty jail from November 1838 to April 1839. Cold, 
improperly fed, a lesser man would have broken 
physically. Some of those with him did break, but 
not Joseph Smith. He remained cheerful, buoyed up 
his brethren, and in addition kept humble enough to 
receive some of the most glorious revelations ever 
given to man. The Liberty jail experience refined 
him spiritually, and he withstood its physical tests. 



His normal daily life was filled with physical 
activity: long walks, long rides, immense physical 
effort, such as the times he spent quarrying stone to 
build the Kirtland Temple. 

Despite the fact that he was poorly nourished 
much of the time and inadequately supplied with 
other comforts, one reads of very few times that he 
was ill. Those times were of short duration. 

That his strength and endurance were to stand him 
in good stead are evidenced by the time poison was 
administered to him. The reaction was immediate; 
his system revolted and violent retching saved him. 

To all who knew him he set an example in zeal, 
energy, devotion, and application to the cause with 
which he was entrusted by the Lord. 

There is no doubt that the Lord foresaw the physi- 
cal trials in store for Joseph Smith and provided 
through the Prophet's parentage and his youth the 
circumstances on which his strength and endurance 
were built. 

Joseph Smith was a mighty prophet. He was also 
a mighty man. 



1167 




John Rosell, Jr., 
is bishop of the 
LaHabra (California) 
Ward. 




W. LaVon Gifford 
is bishop of the 
Page (Arizona) 
Ward. 



Which One Was "Chicken"? 

A young U. S. Navy hospital corpsman, who 
was recently ordained an elder, was assigned as 
master at arms at a Navy hospital where one 
of his duties was to check on sick prisoners. One 
evening a few days before Christmas, he was 
stopped by one of the Marine guards who, 
well on his way to being drunk, asked him to 
have "a little drink" with him. The young 
man's answer was an immediate "no." 
The drunken guard reacted quickly by drawing 
his pistol and pushing it into the stomach of 
the elder, telling him to take a drink. The young 
man looked at the pistol and the bottle — each 
second seemed endlessly long — but he 
answered, "No, I will not take a drink." 
Anger flashed in the eyes of the guard, and he 
shoved the pistol harder into the young man's 
stomach and backed him into a nearby closet. 
"If you don't take a drink, I'm going to shoot 
you." The seconds seemed like hours. The 
young elder quickly offered a silent prayer 
for protection and the strength to be courageous 
as he looked into the eyes of the angry guard. 
"No, I will not. You will just have to shoot," 
he found himself saying. The drunken guard 
blinked, and he tried to comprehend what had 
happened. Suddenly he pulled his pistol from 
the young man's stomach, replaced it in his 
holster, and said, "I'm through with you. 
You're chicken." 

I've thought many times of this incident and the 
relative strength of character it takes to go 
with the crowd and the ways of the world. I've 
thought of the strength of character it took for 
the young man to do what he did. It takes real 
character to walk a different and more honorable 
road, one not in keeping with the tastes of the 
crowd. Which one of these men was 
really "chicken"? J. R. 



Here's How a "Temple Seminar" 
Really Works 

Our ward in Page, Arizona, came into being 
suddenly, as did the town itself. With the 
construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, hundreds 
of people poured into the town almost overnight. 
Where there had previously been only a windy 
mesa, suddenly there was a bustling community 
of several thousand people, including several 
hundred members of the Church. 
The bishopric found that we had more than 90 
families headed by members of the Aaronic 
Priesthood — Adult, good people who had not 
settled down in one ward long enough to 
become active. We believed there was a great 
potential in them, and with the help of the 
Lord, we began to develop it. 

We organized a program to activate them and get 
as many as possible to the temple. One of the 
first men we visited and challenged to get his 
life in order so that he could attend the temple 
was inactive and not observing the Word of 
Wisdom. We had been advised to handle him 
with "kid gloves." However, the Spirit of the 
Lord directed us to be forthright. When we 
issued the challenge to this brother, his face 
became pale. After a moment of silence, he 
accepted it. We fasted and prayed with him and 
visited him every evening until he overcame 
the tobacco habit. 

Along with numerous other families he attended 
our "temple seminar" faithfully. It was a 
marvelous experience to watch these families grow 
in love for one another and the gospel. As 
their faith and testimony increased, they began 
to accept responsibilities in the ward. It was 
a triumphant day when this brother — as well 
as many others on many other days — was 
accompanied to the St. George Temple in joyous 
thanksgiving to the Lord. 
Many of these families have moved on to new 



1168 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



The Prosiriiitfi ltislioj>rh:s I'ihji 



jobs all over the United States, but the ward 
frequently receives letters from them telling 
how they treasure their Page experiences and 
informing us of their church assignments. And 
that good brother whom we were to handle with 
"kid gloves" is now serving as an enthusiastic 
branch president. W. L. G. 



i: rf;;;^.''!: 




James Oral Rasband 
is bishop of the Logan 
Square (Chicago) 

Ward, 



There Was Purpose Behind This Chicago 
Assignment 

During my governmental career I had been 
asked several times to accept an assignment in 
Chicago" but had declined. Therefore it was 
strange that after retiring and selling our home 
in Washington, D.C., I accepted a short-term 
assignment in Chicago. 
But I had felt impressed to accept, and I 
convinced my wife that we wouldn't stay long 
and that perhaps she would be able to do 
some genealogical research at Chicago's famous 
Newberry Library. 



We found an apartment near the Newberry 
Library and, because we expected to stay 
temporarily, began attending another ward in 
which we knew a few people rather than the 
Logan Square Ward, in whose boundaries we 
were residing. But our daughter's approaching 
temple marriage altered our plans. The need for 
new temple recommends meant that we must 
attend the ward of our residence. 
We accepted positions of service in our own 
ward. Then, shortly after our daughter's marriage, 
the stake president called me in for an 
interview. To my great surprise, I learned that 
I was being called — and had already been 
approved by the First Presidency — to serve as 
bishop of the Logan Square Ward. At the 
next sacrament meeting I was sustained as the 
new bishop, to the surprise also of many 
ward members. 

The well-known Logan Square Chapel had fallen 
into considerable disrepair, and a massive 
remodeling program would have to be undertaken. 
It soon became apparent that my training in 
architecture and engineering would be most useful 
as we began our building program. 
Consternation at having a stranger for a bishop 
soon melted away, as we endeavored to impress 
upon the members that the Lord needed us to 
work together in love. We have had many 
heartaches and many spiritual feasts, and we have 
been gratified by much hard labor from busy 
ward members during the past three years — 
but we have completely renovated the chapel. 
And the spirit of brotherly love gained from 
working in the Lord's cause has united and blessed 
our ward beyond measure and makes my wife 
and me marvel at what has occurred since 
we accepted that "short-term" assignment more 
than three years ago. J. 0. R. 



DECEMBER 1966 



1169 











^^"TW 
















P1NNOCK. EDITOR 
FLORENCE B. P»NN 

• Doors wide open, fires glowing, 
colorful lights twinkling, pine trees 
scenting, all add up to say, "Merry 
Christmas." But people are needed; 
they are the important ingredient 
to make a happy holiday season. 
Today we throw open the pages 
of the Era to "our leading ladies." 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 






The presidents 
and counselors 
of the Relief Society, 
the Primary, and the 
Young Women's Mutual 
Improvement Association 
graciously come visiting 
to wish everyone a 
joyous Christmas day. 
This day has 
one meaning to all, 
yet each individual 
guest gives us new 
thoughts to enrich our own 
homes this Christmas season. Such 
words as family, friends, faith, joy, 
heavenly, home, giving, prayer, 
and tradition are repeated time 
and again. Christmas to all of us is 
the same, yet different. This holi- 
day time brings a oneness of 
thought and a glow in every heart; 
why can't it last every day of the 
year? If these nine woman plus 
every other woman in the Church 
had one wish, it would be that 
each "love one another"— no wars, 
no riots, no violence. This wish 
must begin in one's heart and ex- 
tend to every act. And now to 
the words of our "leading ladies." 
BELLE S. SPAFFORD, general 
president of the Relief Society, ex- 
presses her thoughts for Christmas 



1966: "Christmas time is family 
time. It is 'togetherness' for family 
members— if not in person, at least 
in thought and love. It is a time 
when family traditions are per- 
petuated with new meanings and 
added importance attached to them. 

"Christmas time is a time when 
the story of the birth of the Savior 
and his message of love, peace, 
and goodwill toward all mankind 
are told and retold, when the mes- 
sage of the Master takes hold of 
the hearts of people and finds 
expression in their lives. 

"Christmas time is sharing time; 
it is gift-giving and gift-receiving 
time. It is a festive time, with 
roast turkey, plum pudding, and 
homemade candies. It is a time 
we all love." 

MARIANNE C. SHARP, first 
counselor in the Relief Society 
general presidency, claims that 
"Christmas means family continuity. 
It means the gathering together and 
the rejoicing of loved ones from 
miles away, each knowing that the 
birth of the Savior was a beginning 
event in the eternal life for the 
earth family. 

"A pioneer grandfather and the 
families of his nine living children 
would throng his parlor. Each 
would join hands in dancing 
around the Christmas tree, singing, 
'Here we go round the Christmas 
tree, so early in the morning.' 
Many decades later an 89-year-old 
father repeats the Christmas cele- 
bration with the families of his 
four children in the same parlor 
with the same spirit of rejoicing. 

"The present-day family ob- 
serves this tradition and watches 



each year to see the new decora- 
tion mother makes for the festive 
occasion. The latest was a plaque 
on which lovely Christmas cards 
of past seasons depicting sacred 
scenes were formed into a mosaic 
and antiqued with plastic. The 
grandchildren study it and hear a 
recital of the events pictured 
thereon. 

"Christmas means both a gather- 
ing in of beloved ones and a 
reaching out for lonely people 
whose dear ones have passed into 
the next phase of eternity. The 
longing and desire for material 
gifts has changed over the years 
into a counting of eternal blessings, 
a thankfulness for the love of Heav- 
enly Father and for the greatest 
gift of all, his Son, the Savior of 
mankind." 

LOUISE W. MADSEN, second 
counselor in the Relief Society 
general presidency, says, "I love 
Christmas! I love the joy it brings, 
the happiness that shines in the 
eyes of my loved ones. I love the 
lights, the gaiety, the decorations, 
the joyous occasions with family 
and friends. I am happy in the joy 
of giving, excited with gay secrets 
and thoughtful planning, and de- 
lighted with the generosity of 
people. 

"But most of all, at Christmas 
time my heart responds to the 
true meaning of the celebration of 
the birth of Christ. My soul comes 
closer to understanding the im- 
measurable love that sent the 
Savior into the world and the un- 
paralleled gift of his life and 
teaching. The joy of Christmas is 
both heavenly and earthly." 

LAVERN W. PARMLEY, gen- 
eral president of the Primary 



DECEMBER 1966 



1171 



Association, is a woman whose 
heart and mind are ever with little 
children. She tells us that "Christ- 
mas time brings joy supreme to 
the patients at the Primary Chil- 
dren's Hospital. The eyes of 
children look their brightest. They 
shed a radiant sparkle and glow on 
all who come near. The touch of 
human hands is good, kind, and 
loving. Friends of children give 
freely of their devotion; they offer 
their time and talents without 
thought of selfish reward. 

"Children in their simplicity and 
humility sing of the birth of the 
Savior. It is glorious to hear. The 
spirit of Christmas as it radiates 
from the Primary Children's Hos- 
pital showers fountains of real 
happiness on children and adults 
alike. 

"My wish is that the true mean- 
ing of Christmas be deeper, its 
faith stronger, and its hopes 
brighter as it comes again this year 
to the children at the Primary 
Children's Hospital and to children 
everywhere." 

LEONE W. DOXEY, first coun- 
selor in the Primary, believes that 
home is a holy place, especially 
on Christmas day. She goes on to 
say that "getting together on 
Christmas day is a tradition in our 
home. Our four children are mar- 
ried and bring their families. Last 
Christmas we had 24 grand- 
children, and we are looking for- 
ward to two more this year. 
Distance makes it difficult for 
some, but their effort to come 
makes the gift of their presence 
even more appreciated. 

"As we kneel together in the 
living room before dinner in family 
prayer, there is a joy and a peace 
that truly 'passeth all understand- 
ing.' In order for dinner to be 
served to all at the same time, we 
use the dining room table for 
grownups, a round table for girls, 
and another round table for boys. 
The cousins enjoy eating together. 

"After dinner, beginning with the 



youngest child, each one takes his 
turn opening the gift he has re- 
ceived from a cousin. 

"When the gift-giving is over, 
we all settle down for the pro- 
gram. One of the mothers directs 
the children as they dramatize the 
Christmas story. The older chil- 
dren take the leading roles, but 
every child has a part. Surely 
there were many angels in the 
heavenly host, and shepherds 
watched over flocks of sheep and 
lambs. We use Christmas carols 
as the framework to tell the story 
so> that young and old all par- 
ticipate." 

LUCILE C. READING, second 
counselor in the Primary presi- 
dency, enthusiastically tells of 
stocking gifts. "A custom that was 
a part of my Christmas as a little 
girl has been carried on in our own 
home. There are the usual gifts 
under the tree, but most important 
are small gifts deposited by family 
members in each other's Christmas 
stocking. 

"My father used to say that each 
gift could not cost more than five 
cents, but the value of a nickel has 
so diminished over the years that 
while all gifts must be of a very 
modest cost, this particular limit 
is not set. There is never a limit on 
the thought or effort involved with 
each gift nor on how many each 
family member may put in the 
stockings of others. 

"After the first excitement of 
Christmas morning, when the 
'showy' gifts from under the tree 
have been opened and exclaimed 
over, the family enjoys the Christ- 
mas stockings. Items found inside 
may include a small letter of ap- 
preciation; a promissory note of a 
service to be given; a humorous 
verse to commemorate a special 
occasion during the year; a cartoon 
or poem, clipped from a newspaper 
or magazine, which might have 
significance to the receiver; such 
practical needs as shoelaces, pins, 
a sharpened pencil, a little mech- 



anical toy, a carefully embroidered 
handkerchief, a puzzle, or a home- 
made game. These items are gath- 
ered throughout the year, and each 
one is freighted with meaning. We 
refer to them casually as 'stocking 
gifts,' but they are in reality 
'treasures of love,' which add a 
special glow to our Christmas each 
year. 

"And always in the top of each 
stocking is a yummy popcorn ball 
made from the following old fam- 
ily recipe: 

iy 2 cups white sugar 
1 cup brown sugar 
Y 2 cup white corn syrup, plus 1 

tablespoon 
34 cups water 

Cook together until the mixture reaches 
232° F. Add 1 teaspoon salt; 2 cups 
raw peanuts may be added if desired. 
Cook to 292° F. Remove from stove. 
Add V4 CU P butter, 1 teaspoon soda, 
1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over 2 gallons 
of warm popcorn. Mold into balls, or 
when cool, break into clusters. These 
temperatures are for 4,500 to 5,000- 
feet altitude." 

The words of PRESIDENT 
FLORENCE S. JACOBSEN of the 
YWMIA are typical of her when 
she says, "Christmas is a year- 
round project in the Jacobsen 
household, with presents being 
made or purchased throughout the 
year and stored in a large Christ- 
mas closet. Some of the accumula- 
tion is distributed Christmas Eve, 
when the relatives gather to enjoy 
a traditional turkey dinner. This 
dinner always includes fresh 
grapefruit and for a vegetable, red 
cabbage. 

"A simple Christmas breakfast is 
a part of our immediate family's 
traditional gift opening. Breakfast 
repeats some of the dinner menu 
of the evening before, with more 
fresh grapefruit sections, hot 
Christmas sweet-roll rings, and 
French chocolate added. Tradi- 
tionally many Christmas sweet- 
roll rings have been baked ahead 
of time and distributed to friends 
and neighbors. As friends and 
relatives visit our home at Christ- 
mas time, they are served a fruit 



1172 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



cup of fresh grapefruit sections. 
This fresh grapefruit and sweet- 
roll tradition grew out of a desire 
to give and serve something fresh, 
nutritious, and different from the 
usual Christmas fruitcake, candy, 
and nuts. 

"I usually peel and section a case 
of either pink or white seedless 
grapefruit. This is simple to do 
with a very sharp, medium-sized 
butcher knife. Peel the grapefruit 
as you would an apple; take off the 
top first to find out how thick the 
skin is; then cut around and 

around, removing all of the white 
coating inside the outer skin and 

leaving only a clean ball of fresh 
grapefruit sections ready to be re- 
moved from their dividing mem- 
branes. Then slip the knife down 
the left side of a section of grape- 
fruit between the meat and the 
membrane; when the knife reaches 
the bottom of the membrane, move 
the blade quickly to the right, lift- 
ing as well as scraping off the 
grapefruit section from the other 
side of its membrane. The first sec- 
tion is the hardest to remove. Re- 
move the next right hand section 
(going clockwise around the 
grapefruit) in the same manner, 
draining the natural juice that 
collects. Make a syrup of 2 cups 
of water and one cup of sugar; 
bring to a boil, and when cool, 
pour over the drained grapefruit 
sections and let stand 6 to 8 hours 
or overnight. 

"When ready to serve, drain off 
the syrup, place the grapefruit sec- 
tions in glass fruit cups, adding 
ginger ale, and top with a red and 
green cherry or a sprig of mint. A 
drop of mint flavoring in the syrup 
adds a fresh flavor to a special 
traditional Christmas treat." 

MARGARET R. JACKSON, first 
counselor in the YWMIA general 
presidency, talks about Christmas: 
"Tradition has meant much to our 
family, but passing years have 
brought changes as new families 
were formed. The exciting and 
thrilling childhood memories are 



now carried on in other homes. 
Such precious memory traditions 
are the special day set aside to 
make and decorate cookies; the 
making of one new 'fun' thing for 
the children each year, such as a 
puffed-rice lady with a green 
candy hat and a holly candy bou- 
quet; the making and decorating 
of a gingerbread house; the Christ- 
mas morning parade; the mince 
pies circled with candy wreaths; 
and Santa bursting in on Christmas 
Eve. 

"Important members of the 
Jackson Christmas family are two 
life-size elves who have greeted 
guests in unexpected places— peek- 
ing out from a shrub, hanging on 
the stair rail, or nestled in greens 
with a big wooden bowl of red 
apples or popcorn for friends to 
help themselves. Though their 
clothes show wear and occasionally 
need repairing, their roguish pixie 
faces do not show that they are 
more than thirty years old. 

"Favorite Christmas Eve fare is 
hot corn soup with toasted rolls or 
hot, fresh homemade bread. 

"An unbroken tradition for 35 
years of serving turkey has always 
been a simple cranberry sauce. 
Another traditional part of the 
Christmas meal is a hot, buttered, 
combination-vegetable dish of ten- 
der mashed carrots and turnips." 

DOROTHY P. HOLT, second 
counselor in the YWMIA, believes 
that "Christmas is for giving of 
one's self. Weeks before Christmas 
it is important to think of those 
you wish to remember with some- 
thing special and then do the plan- 
ning and preparing that are 
necessary. 

"A fun item that has been wel- 
comed by our friends, especially 
those with small children, has 
been a decorated popcorn Christ- 
mas tree. It has become an annual 
family project to work together 
preparing about twenty trees for 
distribution to people different 
from those of the year before. A 
long pointed colander or a cone 




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DECEMBER 1966 



1 173 



k0j t 



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made from cardboard about 20 
inches long is ideal for the mold. 
To make three Christmas trees, use 
5 gallons of popped corn and a 
syrup made from the following 
recipe : 

Syrup 

3 cups sugar 

1 cup white corn syrup 

1 cup water 

2 teaspoons salt 

2 teaspoons vanilla 

3 tablespoons vinegar 
% cup butter 

Mix all ingredients together and boil 
until the syrup threads and cracks 
when tested in cold water. Divide the 
popcorn into thirds and pour y 3 of the 
syrup over each part. Mold into three 
forms and let set. To loosen, run a 
long knife around the inside of the 
mold. Set the popcorn cone on waxed 
paper and decorate. Use a portion of 
the warm syrup and decorate with 
small colorful pieces of candy. 

"The family can sit around the 
table, each decorating a tree. After 
each tree is completed, cover with 
plastic wrap, and store in a cool 
place. These trees will keep for 
weeks. Paint tuna cans white or 
green as bases on which to set the 
Christmas trees. To make small 
individual trees for favors, fill only 
the point of the mold, decorate, 
and place on a base of a large gum 
drop. 

"Every Christmas we hold an 
open house. Weeks before Christ- 



CRANBERRY LOVE 

BY JESSIE CANNON ELDRIDGE 

I did not love you carelessly, 

Though you may call it such. 

I loved you deeply, heart and soul; 

I trembled at your touch. 

I kept our spring so bright and gay 

It shook its lilac flame 

In sudden wonder . . . O it was 

The magic of your name! 

Our summer held Us roses close, 

Its beauty tumbled over; 

Its bees and butterflies went mad 

Among the perfumed clover. 

And then you went, and sadness 

came; 
Our fall became just mine. 
I stood and watched cranberries 

weep 
Red drops upon the vine. 



1174 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



mas, individual cranberry pud- 
dings, trays of mincemeat squares, 
and festive cookies are prepared 
and put in the deep freeze to be 
brought out and warmed up at 
open house time. The warm cran- 
berry puddings and the mincemeat 
squares are served with a hot but- 
ter sauce. Apple cider and orange 
juice flavored with cloves, served 
hot or cold, is a delicious accom- 
paniment. Christmas is a wonder- 
ful time to entertain if planning 
and preparation are done well in 
advance." 

CHRISTMAS TIME RECIPES 

Foundation Cream Candy 

3 cups sugar 

1 cup rich milk 

2 tablespoons butter 

Y 2 tablespoon white corn syrup 

Mix sugar, milk, butter, and syrup. 
Bring to boiling point slowly. Cook 
until a soft ball can be formed in cold 
water. Pour onto a marble slab or 
platter to cool. When cool, beat until 
creamy. Knead, flavor as desired. 
Vanilla, orange, peppermint, or other 
flavors may be used. When vanilla is 
used, add walnuts, coconut, or candied 
cherries. Color as desired. 

Note: Fondant may be made from the 
above recipe by substituting water for 
milk and omitting the butter. This 
basic fondant recipe may be used for 
dipped chocolates, creams in varied 
colors (by adding a few drops of candy 
coloring and topping with a nut), as 
well as delicious nut bars. 

President Belle S. Spafford 

Pecan Tarts 

Shells: 

Va pound butter 

3 ounces cream cheese 
1 cup flour 

Mix together and roll into 24 balls. 

Filling: 

1 tablespoon melted butter 

1 egg, beaten 
% cup brown sugar 
Pinch salt 

1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 / 3 cup chopped pecans 



Use miniature muffin pans. Do not 
grease. Put a ball in each tin. With 
thumb, hollow out and shape the ball. 
Put in filling and bake 25 minutes 
325° F. Immediately upon removing 
from the oven, tip onto cool rack. 
Note: The recipe is easy to triple, in 
which case an 8-ounce package of 
cream cheese is used. 

Louise W. Madsen 



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Give The Improvement Era this Christmas 



DECEMBER 1966 



1175 



Cranberry Bread 

% cup sugar 
1 egg 
l'V4 cu Ps orange juice 

1 tablespoon grated orange rind 
3 cups Bisquick 
% cup chopped nuts 
1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or 
frozen; if frozen, do not thaw) 

Heat the oven to 350° F. Mix sugar, 
egg, orange juice rind, and Bisquick. 
Beat vigorously 30 seconds. Batter may 
still be lumpy. Stir in nuts and cran- 
berries. Pour into well-greased loaf pan, 
9" x 5" x 3". Bake 55 to 60 minutes, 
or until toothpick stuck into center 
comes out clean. Crack in top is typi- 
cal. Remove from baking pan. Cool 
before slicing. 

President LaVern W. Parmley 



Family Christmas Cake 

3 cups applesauce (unsweetened) 

2 cups sugar 

1 cup shortening 

5 cups flour 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon soda 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 teaspoon nutmeg 

2 tablespoons cocoa 

2 pounds light and dark raisins 
1 cup nuts 

Cream the shortening and sugar. Add 
applesauce. Sift flour, salt, soda, cinna- 
mon, nutmeg, cocoa, and add to first 
mixture. Add fruits and nuts. Bake in 

3 loaf tins at 375° F. for 30 minutes, 
then turn oven to 300° F. and bake for 
45 more minutes. 

Leone W. Doxey 



Favorite Holiday Vegetable 



/ 




"NOTHING COMES FROM 
NOTHING" 



RICHARD L. EVANS 

From a source well known, these words come from a song that is sung: 
"Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could." 1 This, in a sentence, 
is one of the most important lessons of life. All the world, and all of 
us— or any who expect the most from the least amount of effort, or 
who expect everything from little or nothing— must face the fact that 
nothing comes from nothing, that nothing ever could. All the elements 
there are always existed. All the components of creation always were. 
Truth is eternal, but knowledge, invention, improvement, production, 
character, talent, ability-all have to be developed by thought, effort, 
work, practice, performance; by putting in whatever we expect to get 
out. If we have friends that we can count on, it is largely because 
we have made friends. Some may ride along on the friends of their 
families, the friends of their friends, or suppose that friendship will 
simply show itself. But someone, sometime, had to make the effort and 
give evidence of the attitude that fosters friendship. Some things we 
inherit. Some things are passed to us from others. But this doesn't 
make of us anything we aren't. We may enjoy the talents of others, 
but this doesn't develop our own. We do not suddenly become what 
we do not cooperate in becoming. We do not learn well what we are 
not willing to learn. In indifference, some things may remain in our 
minds, some things may attach themselves to us. But generally, what 
we are, what we do, what we become are because we were willing to 
put in for what we want to get out. Basically we always were. And 
what we shall be is what we are, plus what we add to it— always and 
forever. And there would be no better time than now to decide to 
learn, to do, to develop, to work, to improve, to produce, to increase 
our competence, to extend ourselves in service. "The darkest day in 
life," said Allen Shawn, "is the one in which we expect something for 
nothing." 2 "Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could." 

Richard Rodgers, The Sound of Music. 
-Allen Shawn, copyright 1966 by Post Script. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System October 16, 1966. Copyright 1966. 



Peel about 7 tender carrots and 3 
young turnips. Slice and put in sepa- 
rate pans and boil slowly in small 
amount of salted water until tender. 
When both vegetables are tender, 
drain, combine, and mash thoroughly. 
Add salt, pepper, butter, and cream to 
taste. Serve piping hot. 

Margaret R. Jackson 

Cranberry Sauce 

3 cups large cranberries 
2 cups sugar 
% cup water 
1 tablespoon grated orange rind 

Cook the sugar, grated orange rind, 
and water together for 5 minutes. Add 
cranberries to syrup and cover. Let 
cook gently until fruit is transparent. 
Don't boil. 

Margaret R. Jackson 

Cranberry Pudding 

IVs tablespoons butter 
Y 2 cup sugar 
y 2 cup evaporated milk 
1 cup flour 
iy 2 teaspoons baking powder 
y 2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup whole cleaned cranberries 

Cream the butter and sugar together 
until light and fluffy, add the milk and 
dry ingredients, and fold in the cran- 
berries. Spoon into ten muffin tins and 
bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees 
F. 

Sauce 

y 2 pound butter 

1 cup sugar 

y 2 cup cream 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Mix together and cook in top part of 
double boiler until slightly thickened. 
Serve piping hot. 

Dorothy P. Holt 



HOME, SWEET HOME 

Six Christmas gifts for Mary 
and John from Mother and Dad: 

Our complete love — day in and 
day out. 

A feeling of security — with a 
promise of a good tomorrow. 

Real work to do — to understand 
its joys and reap its rewards. 

Opportunity to learn — with free- 
dom of thought. 

Leisure to fill wisely— with choice 
music, true art, wholesome 
sports, and great books. 

A strong faith in God — that he 
lives and loves each one. 



1 176 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, . . ." (John 5:8-9.) 



ESUS THE CHRIST was born of a virgin, cruelly martyred on a cross, and resurrected 
on what we call Easter morning. Those who love him celebrate these signal events wor- 
shipfully, joyfully, thankful for his redeeming sacrifice, his saving grace. But it should... 




♦ . . always be remembered that the Savior also lived on. earth among men for 33 years. What was 
important to him? What did he want for us? What did he do and teach? He gave us many 

principles and parables. One scripture special to our season is taken from St. Matthew. To have 
a happy Christmas, read it thoughtfully; read the stories that follow, and go thou and do likewise! 



ifierriw 



FOR I WAS AN HUNDRED, 

pmducaavc me meofc 
i was thirsty, avid ue gem 
mc?v'mk: i was a stranger, 
anduetook mc \w. 
naked, cm?m dome? me- 
i was sick an?ue visited me-. 
i was in prison an?m 



^/T// / if^^^^ answer him, SMAmq, 

^~/ ms riant vumd, <*9 ™mrA mPfrd^ 



L_^omeM blessed ] o\ mu i&eeJrkk? 




redmyoimmmfr ormU / 




cwne wtio mee? 



say wi\o wwmfteriQj I sou UMfoyou, 
Inasmuch as ye (wive done wurtb oneof-mtQagfc 
ofiiiesc mu brdfwmM (um/6 done ifcanfo me^ 



MritftetQ 





IT WAS CHRISTMAS, and Donovan was des- 
perate. He had never begged a meal in his life, and 
he was ashamed and heartsick at the prospect, but 
he steeled himself and spoke as the man in formal 
clothes fitted his key into the door of the exclusive 
club. He and the lovely lady were laughing gaily 
and didn't hear Donovan's plea. He had to speak 
again. 

"Pardon, sir. I'm hungry. Could you help me 
get a meal?" 

"Nothing doing," said the man gruffly. "There's 
a tramp on every corner these days. Why don't you 
get a job and take care of yourself?" He turned 
again to the door. 

Donovan recoiled as though struck in the face, 
and stumbled back into the shadows. He couldn't 
explain that he had walked the streets for weeks 
trying to find employment. His cheeks burned with 
shame, and he leaned weakly against the building. 

"Drunk!" said the man with disgust. "There 
ought to be a law!" 

But the lady had observed more closely. "Oh, 
Richard," she said reprovingly, "it's Christmas, and 
he's hungry!" Opening her small jeweled evening 
bag, she ran to Donovan and pressed a dollar into 
his hand. "Here," she said, "buy some food. And 
remember, it is the bread of Christmas you are 
eating." 

"Thank you, ma'am, I will." Donovan replied. 

Clutching the dollar tightly, Donovan hur- 
ried toward the inexpensive cafe several blocks away. 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



He was thinking of her smile and her words. "She 
was like an angel," he said to himself, half aloud. 

He planned what he would buy with the money. 
If he were careful he could eat well tonight and have 
half of his money left for tomorrow. The bread of 
Christmas would stretch out while he tried for a job 
at that new place he'd just thought of! His step 
quickened at the thought, but then halted as he spoke 
to the old man who was crouched, shivering, in the 
dark doorway. "Come on, old fellow," he said. "The 
bread of Christmas will feed two of us tonight." 

They relished every bite of the nourishing food 
at the cafe. Donovan noticed that his guest was 
wrapping his bread and pie in his paper napkin. 
"Saving some for tomorrow, eh?" he smiled. "No," 
said the old man. "Tommy the newsboy got no 
folks to take care of him. I'm taking it to him." 

"Here, take my pie, too," said Donovan, "and 
this piece of bread! I've had plenty." 

"The bread of Christmas!" he mused. 

Tommy quickly dispatched the food from the 
napkin, but saved a crust of bread for the little dog 
that whimpered nearby. Donovan picked up the 
frightened animal and stroked its wet fur. His hand 
touched a tag on the dog's collar, and he examined 
it with curiosity. There was an address on the tag. 

"Maybe you belong to some little boy who will 
be sad because you are lost," he said. "Come on, 
I will take you home." 

It was a long walk across town, but Donovan 
carried the dog all the way and was holding him 
when he rang the doorbell of the fashionable home. 
The maid stared at him, then summoned a man who 
took the dog and eyed him suspiciously. "So you 
brought him back, did you," he said. "I suppose 
you're looking for the reward money. Or maybe you 
thought about that before he got 'lost.' ' 

"I didn't know about any reward," Donovan 
protested. "I'm not asking any reward. A newsboy 
found him on the street and I brought him back 
because he was lost." The words tumbled out in a 
torrent and showed the heart of the man. Subdued 
by the earnestness of the roughly -dressed visitor, he 
was instantly -apologetic. 

"I'm sorry," he said. "I can see you are not 
that kind of man, I want you to have the reward. 
I advertised it and you've earned it. I want you to 
have it." 

He pressed a bill into Donovan's reluctant hand, 
then said, "Incidentally, are you looking for a job? 
We happen to need a watchman at my plant, and 
we could use an honest man like you." He gave 
Donovan his card and a warm smile, and shook his 
hand as he departed. 

— Adapted, Author Unknown 




DECEMBER 1966 



1 181 




ROSALIE WAS NEW IN THE WARD. At 15 this can be a 
problem. Everyone had his own friend. All the groups were settled. 
Everyone knew for sure just which boys or girls went around together. 
They all went to the same school. And they'd all lived in the same area 
for ages, it seemed. They had so much in common. They had so many 
things to talk about, so much to laugh at. They looked so busy with 
plans to make and places to go and the weekend's activities to report 
on. It was like being surrounded by water but not being able to drink. 

Being new to Rosalie meant being out of it. She wished her 
parents had never moved away from the ward where she had become 
converted to the Church and where she had felt so welcomed. How 
thirsty she was for friends and fun and a feeling of belonging. 

It was just before Christmas, and the holiday held no excitement 
for her. She had promised herself last night as she finished her prayers 
that if things weren't better at church this week, she'd never come back 
again. She just couldn't take any more sitting alone, having no one 
to talk with, no one to walk to class with. Oh, the kids had said hello 
that first time, and the teacher had welcomed her, but that was the 
end of that. 

What Rosalie didn't know was that someone else had also been 
praying last night. Her mother sensed this trying problem in Rosalie's 
life and had earnestly asked Heavenly Father to help, to touch some- 
one's heart that they might take this young girl in so she wouldn't be 
lost to the kingdom. 

That Sunday when Rosalie slipped into her place on one side of 
the chapel, she wasn't alone for long. One of the most popular girls 
in the ward left the familiar group she always came in with and walked 
over toward Rosalie. 

"Hi!" She smiled broadly as she sat down beside Rosalie. "May I 
sit here?'' 

"Oh, yes, do! Isn't Christmas a happy time?" Rosalie uttered a 
silent prayer of thanks that there was one girl in the many who would 
bother to offer just the kind of drink that would quench her particular 
thirst. 



1182 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




DECEMBER 1966 




1 183 




IT ISN'T UNUSUAL to see a woman's eyes glow 
with that special luminosity o[ mother love when a 
child's warm squeeze around the neck emphasizes the 
pronouncement, "I love you!" 

But when Karen Miles witnessed that sweet scene 
between Susannah and little Jeannie, it was different. 
Susannah was a troubled visitor in the Miles home, 
far away from her own children, and Jeannie was 
Karen's tiny daughter. Susannah had been ill and 
deeply depressed, and the Miles family had been con- 
cerned for her and praying earnestly for her recovery 
since Dad had brought her home two days before 
Christmas. Her response to Jeannie's spontaneous out- 
pouring of affection was the first expression of a will- 
ingness to give or receive love that the Miles family 
had seen. 

Robert Miles was troubled when he first called Karen 
to tell her about Susannah. He knew of his family's 
involvements during the holiday season, and he was 
reluctant to impose upon them. But Susannah had come 
to him ill and away from her family, and he couldn't 
turn her away. He had tried to find a solution in time 
to get her home for Christmas, but circumstances made 
that impossible. He just couldn't put her into a hotel 
or hospital for Christmas, so he had called Karen, and 
his wife had responded graciously and generously , as 
she always did. 

Thus Susannah spent the Christ- 
mas holidays at the Miles home. 
At first she was unhappy and ill 
at ease. The dark moods came 
on her and she wept and was 
afraid. She seemed alien and 
suspicious; she would not 
be one of them no 
matter how they 
tried. The older 



children responded to their parents' invitation to make 
special efforts to be kind, but they were rebuffed. Bob 
and Karen earnestly entreated the Lord and made plans 
for medical help after Christmas, but they began to 
despair as the situation seemed to stay the same. Then 
came Christmas morning and Jeannie, and the miracle 
occurred. 

Susannah had accepted her presents gratefully, but 
that curtain over her eyes shut them out, and the far- 
away look made them aware that the gifts, however 
graciously given, were poor substitutes for the love and 
acceptance of her own family. Then, without invitation 
or warning, Jeannie climbed on Susannah's lap, put 
her plump little arms around her neck, kissed her, and 
said, "Susannah, I lub you." Other little ones followed 
her lead, climbing and laughing and loving the guest 
whose troubles they didn't understand but whose pres- 
ence they appreciated. The parents watched in wonder 
as the curtain in Susannah's eyes dissolved in believing 
tears, and a child's guileless love turned the key to a 
heart long afraid. 

So Karen Miles wept, and her husband and older 
children did, too. 

Days later, when Susannah had gone to rejoin 
her own family, Robert read at family night a 
verse of scripture that now had great meaning 
to the Miles family. They had begun to under- 
stand why it had been such a great Christmas 
— the one that in future years they would often 
refer to as their best. They had thought they 
were going out of their way and giving, but 
in truth they had been the ones most blessed. 
They had celebrated Christmas in the best pos- 
sible way, forgetful of self, worshipping Christ, 
giving, sharing, sacrificing their own plans, 
praying, trying to help another. That's why 
the scripture made such sense: 

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for 
thereby some have entertained 
angels unawares." (Heb. 13:2.) \^$- 

" . . . I was a stranger, and ye 
took me in." (Matt. 25:35.) * 





■IB « 




r/f£" YOUNG MAN walked resolutely down the city 
street to the clothing store, his hand in his pocket hold- 
ing tightly to the five $20 bills wadded together there. 
He couldn't afford to lose them — they represented the 
new suit and overcoat he would wear on his mission. 
Like most of the rest of the money for his mission, 
the $100 had been slowly, painfully accumulated 
through his own efforts. With careful planning and 
determined budgeting the money would see him through 
his two years of special service to the Lord. 

He was startled when the man stepped in front 
of him, and would have stepped around him, but the 
smile and outstretched hand brought the face and slight 
frame into focus. It was Anthon Van Orden, a friend 
of his father before he died many years ago. 

Brother Van Orden had been kind to the Hale 
family through the years. A Thanksgiving turkey, a 
Christmas box, an occasional envelope with a few dol- 
lars for Mother. 

Now he inquired of the younger man's health and 
current activities. Marsden found himself answering 
reluctantly, almost evasively. He didn't want Brother 
Van Orden to feel that he was expected to offer finan- 




Chris Montague 







cial help. Reluctantly he revealed the facts under the 
older man's questioning. 

Yes, it was about time he was going on a mission. 
Yes, he had been called. Yes, he was going soon. As a 
matter of fact, he was in the mission home right now, 
preparing to leave. Yes, he was on the way to purchase 
some needed items for his mission. Yes, he did happen 
to be looking for a suit and an overcoat. Yes, he guessed 
he could take a few minutes to accompany Brother Van 
Orden into the more expensive store across the street. 

The family friend seemed pleased at the chance 
meeting, but Marsden was uneasy. He knew that the 
older man rented rooms in his modest home and that 
he had modest employment; Marsden didn't want to 
exact or accept sacrifice from him. He protested the 
journey en route, but Brother Van Orden smilingly 
insisted. 

In the store an expensive suit, coat, and hat were 
selected. Marsden protested — they cost too much, it 
wasn't necessary. But Brother Van Orden insisted; 
Stanley Hale's son was to have the best. He seemed 
so excited and pleased and anxious to do this, and 
Marsden, having protested enough, gratefully thanked 
him. 




"Before you go," said the older man, "let me tell 
you why this privilege means so much to me. 

"I came to this country as an immigrant boy of 
14. I didn't speak the language; I had no money and 
no job and no friends. I was frightened, but deter- 
mined to make good in this new glorious land. Someone 
sent me to Stanley Hale. He takes in strays,' they said. 
I did not then understand the meaning of that, but I 
understood the heart of your father. He found me a 
job. He brought blankets so I could sleep on the couch 
in his office. He brought food for me until I could buy 
my own. 

"I have been waiting a long time to tell that story 
to Stanley Hale's youngest child. I have been waiting 
a long time to return to Stanley Hale's son a little of 
the bread his sainted father cast upon the waters for me 
many years ago. Today you have made me very happy, 
and I weep with joy." 

Marsden Hale's eyes were moist, too, as he pon- 
dered the miracle of bread upon the waters, of a neigh- 
bor fed and clothed in time of need. 

In his heart he thanked God for a father he had 
never known, but now seemed to know so well. 




Anton Wozab, Tom Richards 




/ WAS IN THE HOSPITAL for the first time, in a strange city where I had lived for only 
a few months. Many thoughts ran through my mind. 

"I have cancer. My roommate is dying from cancer. Twill most likely die. 
"I may never see my friends again because they live in another state, far away." 
I didn't expect any visitors except my family, because I didn't know anybody very well. Imag- 
ine my surprise when the bishop came to my door. He had just been released from the hospital and came to 
see me even before he had gone home. Then came the rest of the bishopric and their wives. Next came 
other adult members of the ward whom I didn't even know. 

I really appreciated this, but it didn't surprise me much, because they were grown up and could 
understand perhaps what it would be like to be frightened and sick. But when flowers and gifts arrived from 
my Sunday School, MIA, and seminary classes, from kids whom I scarcely knew, I was deeply touched. 
I could hardly believe it when they came and visited me personally. When Mother told me some had even 
fasted and prayed for me, I was so moved I cried. 

I don't think most active healthy people realize how much a sick person likes 

and remembered. Before I was ill, I had no idea how much it 
students came and visited me even though I was new to them, 
me they cared. Until you are ill and alone, you don't 
much it means to know people care. 

by Lahna Van Bloem, 15 years old 



to be visited 
meant. These 
They showed 
realize how 




-. •-■ 




1188 



"Listen! Listen! Listen!" is their cry. 

The cry of the lost. 
"Do not condemn us — listen and understand us. 

You would pretend to help us with your preaching, 

Preaching, preaching, always preaching! 

Preaching without knowing what is in our hearts; 

We live among you, and you will not help us, 

We, who are dying! 

Listen to us, understand us; then you can help us!" 

That is their cry, 

The cry of the lost, 

The cry of those who know not the meaning of their words. 

To be lost is to be in prison, 

In misery, always alone; 

Never quite accepted, without friends. 

He did not even know he spoke, 

Yet he always seemed to say, "Understand me, help me!" 

Ignored by some, misunderstood by others. 

Loving little, it would seem. 

And yet, he was always willing to give aid. 
"Worthless man!" they said, 

But who of them would stoop to help a stray? 

In his gray eyes the gloom of one without God, 

The sorrow of his sins — 

Lost, alone, yet not without love for others; 

No, he was not worthless. 

Who would hear the cry 

Of one who did not know he cried out? 

There was another, 
A man who sang a song of love, 
A song of understanding. 
He did not completely comprehend his song; 
He only knew he was happy. 
To him everyone was wonderful. 
Life was something to reach out for in joy. 
He spoke in church, "All my neighbors are kind and good — 
"They give me nothing but love." 
He would hear the cry, 
He would listen and understand. 
It was strange how one who sinned not, 
One who was happy, 
Could hear the cry of one who sinned, 
One who was sad. 



Everyone seemed wonderful to him, 

The lost one, too. 

He listened; he understood; he preached without preaching. 

He taught the song of joy to the one who sorrowed, 

And into the gray eyes came light, the light of one who is with God. 

And then there were two who could hear the cry of the lost. 
Who would listen and understand the words, 
Who would listen, understand, and help. 

by Charlotte Antrei, Manti Seminary Student 




WHAT MAKES CHRISTMAS MERRY? 

f 

What makes Christmas memorable? 

What makes Christmas a time apart, a glowing thing? 

You! 

Young you. Sensitive you. Thoughtful you. Caring you. Prayerful you. 
Happy you. 

You make it merry with your smiles and your sharing, with your creativity 
and your glad approach to a cutback in commercialism. You make it merry with 
your plotting and your planning SOMETHING for everyone. 

You make it memorable with your graciousness to young and old alike, 
with your helpfulness and unselfishness, with your bringing in the spiritual. 
You make it memorable with your plotting and your planning SOMETHING 
for everyone. 

You make it a time apart, a glowing thing, with your warm efforts at 
spreading cheer where there isn't any, with your caroling and your laughter, 
with your thanksgiving and your worshipful remembering of what the holiday 
is really all about. 

And the gifts you give will be gifts that live, for they will have 

little to do with price and style and even appeal—but everything to do with 

the Savior's promise, 






VitwXo, 









1 190 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



This is a gift 



This is a gift giver 





-■.,. 



- 



1 








^ . 



A' \ 



/ 



^ 



.7 




L. 




This is a gift getter 

Naturally, Christmas is merry 



This is a gift getter 
hugging a gift giver 



* 



i Make your 
i Christmas 
merrier! 



j 




Win yourself a gift that will live ! Enter the 

ERA OF YOUTH WRITING CONTEST 

ELIGIBLE ENTRANTS: High school seniors (1966-67) and college-age (under 23 years of age on 
January 1, 1967). 

CATEGORIES: Short story, essay, poetry. 

All entries should be suitable for publication in the Era of Youth. 

RULES: Entries must be typewritten on white paper 8V2" x 11", double-spaced, on one side of 
paper only. 

Entries should not exceed 500 words in length, but longer entries up to 1,000 words will be 
considered for judging and publication if they are especially meritorious. 

Each entry must be designated by a pen name and must be accompanied by a sealed envelope 
containing: 

a. The pen name. 

b. The author's actual name, address, telephone number, ward and stake, title of entry, and age. 

c. The following statement: "This work is original." 

d. At the top of the first page of the manuscript the author should designate which school 
he/she would be interested in attending if the entry merits an award. 

(Please note: No entries from the mainland USA will be accepted for the Church College of Hawaii 
scholarships) 

AWARDS: Eighteen valuable university scholarships, 12 cash awards, 12 three-year Era subscriptions. 

TIME: Entries must be mailed to the Era of Youth, 79 South State St., Salt Lake City, Utah 
84111, postmarked not later than December 31, 1966. Winners will be announced in the June 1967 
issue of the Era. 

Winning entries become the property of The Improvement Era. The Era reserves first publication 
rights to all other entries. Payment will be made upon publication. No entries will be returned. 



DECEMBER 1966 



The 

Last 

Word 



Beginning in January "The Last Word" will include humorous anecdotes and experiences 
relating to Latter-day Saint culture and way of life. Contributions will be paid for 
at usual rates. Maximum length: 150 words. Address: The Last Word Editor. 



The kindness of Christmas is 
the kindness of Christ. To 
know that God so loved us as 
to give us his Son for our 
dearest Brother has brought 
human affection to its highest 
tide on the day of that Bro- 
ther's birth. If God so loved 
us, how can we help loving one 
another? — Maltbie Babcock 




Give freely to him that 
deserveth well, and asketh 
nothing: and that is a way 
of giving to thyself. — Fuller 



Cod has not created us 
with aspirations and long- 
ings for heights to which 
we cannot climb.— Marden 



Hotel page: 'Telegram for Mr. Schmickelhopper, Mr. Joys are our wings, soiiows 
Schmickelhopper." Mr. Schmickelhopper: "What initial please?" are our spurs. — Richter 



Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight! 
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine, 
Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine; 
Christmas where snow-peaks stand solemn and white, 
Christmas where cornfields lie sunny and bright. 
— Phillips Brooks, "A Christmas Carol," stanza 1 




"Did you know that a cat has three 
tails?" "What makes you say that?" 
"Well, won't you agree that no cat 
has two tails?" "Yes." "And one cat 
has one more tail than no cat?" 
"Right." "Then one cat has three tails." 



Do not seek to save your lives, for he that is 
afraid to die for the truth will lose eternal life. 
Hold out to the end, and we shall be resurrected 
and become like Gods, and reign in celestial 
kingdoms, principalities, and eternal dominions. 
—The Prophet Joseph Smith, June 18, 1844. 




S3 



1 wtt* t 



Tis not the weight of jewel or plate, 

Or the fondle of silk and fur; 

'Tis the spirit in which the , gift is rich, 

As the gifts of the wise ones were; 

And we are not told whose gift was gold 

Or whose was the gift of myrrh. 

— Edmund Vance Cook, "The Spirit of the Gift" 



Customer: "Do you have the 
book Man, the Ruler?" Sales- 
girl: "The fiction department 
is up on the next floor." 



The serene, silent beauty of a 
holy life is the most powerful 
influence in the world, next to 
the might of God. — Pascal 



1192 






Thou that has given 

so much to us, 

give one thing more . . . 

a grateful 

heart. 




George Herbert 1602 



Our thanks to all 

with whom we associate. 

We extend to everyone 

our sincerest best wishes for a 

Merry Christmas and a 

Happy New Year. 



COMPANY 

3100 South 1100 East 

Salt Lake City, 

Utah 






Second Class Postage Paid 
at Salt Lake City, Utah 



A Pioneer Christmas: The "family room" had a hand-hewn board floor. The native evergreen had been cut 
in a nearby canyon . . . and lovingly trimmed with homemade festoons and ornaments. The gifts were simple and practical. 
But the true Christmas spirit of love and good will burned brightly then as now. Our wish for you and yours this 
Christmas 1966: all the joy of a Pioneer Christmas . . . from Beneficial Life 
and our "Beneficial men" wherever they serve you. 

Painting by Dale Kilbourn depicts a typical Pioneer Christmas as re-created in the historic cabin on Temple Square, 




BENEFICIAL LIFE 

Virgil H. Smith, Pro. Salt Like City, Uuh